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Crotty set to return for Crusaders against Kings

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All Black and Crusaders mid-fielder Ryan Crotty looks set to make his Super Rugby debut for the 2016 season this weekend against the Southern Kings in Christchurch.

Crotty injured him thumb when he was at home earlier in the season which caused him to miss the Crusaders opening two matches but he is likely to feature this weekend.

The twenty-seven-year-old was hoping to make an impression on the All Black selectors early in the season but his bizarre injury put a hold on his ambitions.

“I actually did it doing some housework, I was lifting some heavy stuff around the house,” Crotty told Stuff.

“That was one of the more frustrating things about it, that it wasn’t out on the field.”

With Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith and Sonny Bill Williams all out of the reckoning for the All Blacks Crotty will have to prove to the national selectors that he is a better option than the likes of Malakai Fekitoa, Charlie Ngatai and Rene Ranger if he is to add to his 15 caps which is why he wanted an early start.

Crotty said that bone spurs which were created by the number of sprains he suffered to his thumb and wrist during his career, probably contributed to the tendon breaking. “They just get niggly and then mine pinged, unfortunately.”

Whilst on the sidelines Crotty had an operation in which the surgeon removed one of the tendons from his right index finger and attached it to the damaged thumb and when he returns to the field as a precaution he will wear a guard.

“I caught up with the surgeon last week and he said the tendon’s going to be as strong as it’s ever going to be, even if it’s not strapped.”

Crotty missed the Crusaders’ three pre-season games and also the Super Rugby fixtures against the Chiefs and Blues which was the first time since March 2012 that he has missed consecutive games for the Crusaders.

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