All Blacks coach Steve Hansen admits Ryan Crotty concussion issues are a concern but says the midfield star has already been given the all-clear by a specialist after being knocked out in the first Bledisloe Test.
The blow, which came when Crotty collided with teammate Jack Goodhue, is Crotty’s sixth concussion in 15 months.
Hansen said the blow had left Crotty, who had already been ruled out of the second Test at Eden Park, with a loose tooth as well.
“It concerns us definitely, that’s why he’s already seen a specialist and they’ve given him the all-clear,” Hansen said.
“From our understanding, as long as you fully recover and don’t go back when you’re not fully recovered then you’re okay.”
Hansen said Crotty was “unlucky”.
“Last night was real freaky, friendly fire from Jack Goodhue, straight in the face and it would have knocked most of us out.”
Earlier, Crotty’s sister Shea had voiced her concerns over brother’s health on Twitter.
“For selfish reasons I want to see my brother grow old and able, not battling the brain forever,” she wrote as a comment while retweeting a post from White Ferns cricketer Frances Mackay.
Crotty admitted in June this year he may have to retire due to repeated concussions.
“If I wasn’t to bounce back from one as quickly as I tend to, then maybe you would think like that [retiring],” he said.
“At the start of each season I get tested to make sure that I am round the same point each season.
“If that was starting to trend badly then that would be something I would look at a little more deeply, but until then I am happy to keep going out there and keep putting my body on the line.”