allblacks.com 09.Aug.2013Getty Images
The 31-year-old, 95-Test veteran, who is in his 11th season of professional rugby, will take a six-month break from the game following the All Blacks Air New Zealand European Tour in November. He will miss the majority of the 2014 Investec Super Rugby season with the Crusaders as well as the All Blacks Steinlager Series in June.
Carter said the extended break would allow him the chance to refresh and recover after more than a decade of top-level rugby.
"I love playing rugby and I'm fully committed to the Crusaders and the All Blacks. But when you play the game fulltime at this level it does take a toll on your body. I've had a few injury niggles over recent years, so I'm keen to ensure I do everything I can to recover fully from those and prolong my career.
"Ultimately, I want to play in the next Rugby World Cup in 2015. To do that, it's important that I put myself in the best possible position, both physically and mentally," said Carter.
Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder said: "Obviously Dan will be missed by the Crusaders while he's on his extended break, but we fully support him taking this break from rugby for the long-term benefit of his career. It is a great opportunity for him to re-energise and also provides a great opportunity for some of our very talented, younger first-fives to step up to the plate next season. We wish Dan all the best and know he will enjoy the extra time with his young family."
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen added: "From an All Blacks point of view, we fully support Dan and agree with Todd's sentiments. The extended break will allow Dan to do all the things he needs to do to give himself a chance to appear at the Rugby World Cup, and that's a huge positive for both us and him."
Carter is signed with the Crusaders and the All Blacks through to the end of 2015.
The IRB Player of the Year in 2005 and 2012, Carter is regarded as one of the world's best first five-eighths. He is the highest points-scorer in both Test rugby and Super Rugby, was part of the victorious All Blacks 2011 Rugby World Cup squad and has won three Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders, having played more than 120 games for the franchise.