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Carter likely to play for Canterbury

All Blacks first five-eighth Daniel Carter, currently out of action with a fractured leg, is likely to make his playing return via the ITM Cup for Canterbury.

Test coach Steve Hansen indicated that a graduated program will be likely, meaning that potentially the 100-Test All Blacks will play a couple of matches for the current Premiership champions.

Originally Carter was targeting a potential comeback towards the end of The Investec Rugby Championship, but the target will be that the most prolific point’s scorer in Test history (1442) will make his return in Brisbane on October 18.

Canterbury play North Harbour on September 24 and Southland on September 28.

Carter has played 27 games for the red and blacks scoring 289 points.

The return of the most capped All Blacks first five-eighth will make for robust discussion over the selection table considering the continued evolution of Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett.

However despite the talents of the duo in general play, the educated and classy boot of Carter looms over the two with the younger playmakers having mixed outings from the kicking tee.

Carter cracked a small bone in his fibula five weeks ago, and originally wasn’t detected until a full scan revealed the extent of the injury suffered when the Crusaders went down to the Waratahs in the Investec Super Rugby Final.