Injury-prone World Cup All Black Colin Slade is determined to overcome his latest injury setback.
The 24-year-old Highlanders flyhalf - who has already suffered two fractures to his jaw during the Super Rugby season and a groin injury that ruled him out of the World Cup, spent a week in hospital fighting an infection.
However, he told the media in Dunedin that he is "determined" the latest setback won't delay his start to the Super Rugby season with the Highlanders.
Slade picked up the infection from an injection used to determine the extent of his groin injury which he suffered in the All Blacks' quarterfinal victory over Argentina on October 9.
Despite being on antibiotics, Slade travelled from Christchurch to Auckland to watch the All Blacks win the World Cup Final over France, took part in the Auckland parade on Monday, and spent the rest of the week in Christchurch Hospital, where he underwent minor surgery to clean out the infection.
The stay caused him to miss the All Blacks victory parade in his home city, although he could see it out of his window.
The infection, which caused him to suffer from "sweats and shakes" also means the operation in Auckland to repair his torn adductor has been put back until he has fully recovered. Slade said that should be in about two weeks.
He will be named in the Highlanders squad on Wednesday when the rest of New Zealand's franchise squads are officially announced and said he was looking forward to putting a tough year behind him.
Slade said the operation, when it finally came, shouldn't delay his start to the season with Jamie Joseph's team when it kicks off on February 24.
"I hope not, it shouldn't do," he said.
"I think once the operation is done, after four weeks I'll be running. I can bike from two weeks so hopefully I can keep the fitness up. It will be touch and go but I should be fine."
Slade's forced exit from the World Cup came after he watched fellow flyhalf Dan Carter knocked out of the tournament with a similar injury.
The disappointment also came after he suffered two broken jaws received while playing for the Highlanders this year. That caused him to miss the majority of the season with his new team after he made the trip south from the Crusaders.
Slade's All Blacks replacement, Aaron Cruden, was also struck by injury, falling in the final to a knee injury which forced him to make way for fourth-choice flyhalf Stephen Donald.
Slade said the year had gone from bad to worse for him. But despite the recent complication which forced him to delay surgery - and cancel a holiday in the United States - he wanted to stay positive.
It was "just another hurdle", he said. "Hopefully I can get the operation done and move on and look forward to next year."
AP & Otago Daily Times
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