WELLINGTON, Sept 18 All Blacks flyhalf Aaron Cruden will join flanker Sam Cane on the sidelines after being ruled out of the rest of the Rugby Championship with a groin injury, assistant coach Ian Foster said on Sunday.
Cruden missed the 41-13 win over South Africa in Christchurch on Saturday after playing as a replacement in the victory over Argentina in Hamilton the previous week.
Openside Cane was ruled out of the tournament after injuring his hamstring in the 57-22 win over the Pumas but is likely to be fit again for the final Bledisloe Cup clash against Australia at Eden Park on Oct. 22.
The All Blacks, who wrapped up the title with the South Africa win, play Argentina in Buenos Aires on Oct. 1 before the Springboks in Durban on Oct. 8 to finish their competition.
"Crudes and Sammy are out of the tour," Foster told reporters in Christchurch on Sunday.
Cruden was unlikely to be replaced in the squad. Lima Sopoaga, who was on the bench on Saturday, is likely to back up Beauden Barrett.
Utility back Damian McKenzie, who came into the squad as injury cover, could also come into contention as he recovers from concussion.
"He (McKenzie) has been through protocols and has come through really, really well," Foster said. "So it looks like he is ready to train next week."
Bruising loose forward Jerome Kaino came off in the second half against the Springboks with a damaged AC joint in his shoulder but could still travel with the team to Argentina on Friday, Foster said.
"He will be in a sling for a few days. We will make a decision later in the week about whether he comes, but there is nothing at the moment that will rule him out of it," he added.
"It is the sort of thing that comes right pretty quickly, but we just have to wait three or four days for it to settle down."
Injured winger Waisake Naholo (hamstring) and centre George Moala (knee) were also expected to be available.
"It looks like they are both going to be available for the tour. Waisake, we are not sure whether he would be ready for the first game or not. We are still assessing it," Foster said.
"George was very close to playing today for Auckland."
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ian Ransom)