Ardie Savea determined to let knee recover properly

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Savea was invalided out of the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup semi final with England in October and had surgery.

 

He didn't know what the surgeon would say but he knew the knee was feeling better each day and it was nice to be active again after the surgery.

 

"The knee is slowly progressing each week and each day. It's been good," he said.

 

Having been stuck on a couch over the summer he said it was enjoyable getting out for a walk and doing some work in the gym.

 

"I'm doing some upper body weights, trying to get big, and I've just started on the bike and I'm allowed to do boxing and things like that without putting pressure on my legs," he said.

 

Savea said his natural impulse was to push himself and after doing some TikTok posts last week that required dance moves, he had gone into the Hurricanes base where his doctor had told him off.

 

"Walking down the stairs you feel so confident but then sometimes it catches a little bit so you just need to be careful," he said.

 

Savea said he hadn't set himself any goals to return to playing because he had been told he just needed to take the time to let the knee recover because if he didn't there could be consequences down the line.

 

"I'm going to do everything I can to get it right and make sure it's fully right, whenever that is," he said.

 

Savea said the mental side of not being involved had been interesting. Before the incident happened he had felt he would be all right should he be injured because he had a lot of things going on off the field.

 

"But I actually really struggled. Something that I learnt through that journey was that I love to be active. I love to go out for walks and not being able to do that for four of five weeks was quite tough mentally and once I started to be able to walk I started to find that I was feeling better and just in the right mental space," he said.

 

While it had provided some lessons it had also served as a reset for him and the advantage was that he had been able to spend more time with his family.

 

The earlier start to the season had put pressure on the group to come together quicker than previously but it hadn't affected the overall mindset of the side.

 

The late change of coach resulting from John Plumtree signing on with Ian Foster's All Blacks panel had not really impacted the side, Savea said. They had been told that if Foster got the job then Plumtree would be going with him.

 

"They had plans in place for that and Alfie [Jason Holland] has just smoothly transitioned into the head coaching role and CJ's [Cory Jane] come on board and he's doing his thing so I think the boys are really enjoying it," he said.

 

Savea has not had a lot of contact with the side in its preparation. His involvement has been tied up with getting his treatment down at HQ while on extended leave. He will go on holiday next week with his family - something he hasn't been able to do previously at this time of year- and was looking forward to that.

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