All Blacks captain Kieran Read to undergo back surgery

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) All Blacks captain Kieran Read will undergo surgery to repair a prolapsed lumbar disc in his back and will make a delayed return to rugby in the 2018 season.

Read will have the operation Saturday and will be sidelined for four months which means he will likely miss the start of the next Super Rugby season.

In a statement Wednesday, the Crusaders Super Rugby team said Read’s injury ”has been reviewed by both the All Blacks and Crusaders medical teams as well as a back specialist who will continue to monitor his recovery.”

Read sustained the injury at the end of the All Blacks’ recent tour to Britain and was forced to miss its Nov. 26 test against Wales.