Kieran Read will not take part in training this week in the build up to the Crusaders' semifinal against the Stormers at Newlands in an attempt to give his injured ankle a chance to recover.
The All Black No.8 sprained his ankle in the victory over the Sharks in Nelson last week and hobbled off the field but coach Todd Blackadder said he would be given every chance to prove his fitness ahead of the massive clash in Cape Town.
Blackadder told The Press: "He will not lose any condition from not training.
"He'll get strapped up, he'll be fine. It is not really a serious injury, there is no ligament damage and it was just a blow to his ankle basically."
If Read - who has captained the Crusaders in the absence of Richie McCaw in recent weeks - is not fit to take the field on Saturday, the Crusaders do have decent cover at loose forward.
McCaw, in fact, could find himself playing at No.8 for the second time this year, as flanks Matt Todd and George Whitelock have proven themselves to be quality options for the seven-times champions this season.
Blackadder has been particularly impressed with Whitelock's work-rate this season and was full of praise for the hard-working loose forward.
"He's been a bloody workhorse, George, and he gets through a power of work. I actually think he has been one of our best players this year," Blackadder said.
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