All Black Jerome Kaino in fitness race for Lions series

He is currently sidelined with a knee injury

BY Simon Maguire 14:48 Friday 28 April 2017, 14:48 28 Apr 2017

New Zealand's Jerome Kaino on the attack. Image: ©INPHO/Photosport

World Cup winning flanker Jerome Kaino is to undergo surgery on his knee with the Lions series fast approaching.

The Auckland Blues' back-rower suffered a meniscus tear in his knee during a recent match against the Hurricanes.

Blues assistant coach Steve Jackson said on Thursday: "He's got a lot of big things coming up towards June so now was the time to get it done. And again, he was feeling it and as I said before it was locking up on him so potentially he could have played with some discomfort then if it locked up during game time we would have to replace him anyway."

Kaino is viewed the All Blacks' enforcer around the field and his physicality will be needed when the Lions arrive in June for the first time since 2005.

 

New Zealand's Jerome Kaino is tackled by Robbie Henshaw and CJ Stander of Ireland
Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Andrew Cornaga

The tourists play the Blues on the 7th June with the test series beginning on 24th June in Eden Park. 

Kaino has played 77 times for New Zealand and was a pivotal part of both their World Cup successes in 2011 and 2015. 

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