Milner-Skudder could 'pencil in' Chiefs match for comeback

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New Zealand full-back Nehe Milner-Skudder is optimistic he will be fit before the start of the British and Irish Lions series and has picked out the clash with Chiefs on June 9 as a potential target for his Hurricanes comeback.

Milner-Skudder fractured his foot in the Super Rugby loss against Chiefs on March 10 and has taken longer than expected to recover.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd questioned whether the 26-year-old will have enough time to prove his fitness in order to be called up by the All Blacks for the Lions series, with the first Test taking place at Eden Park on June 24.

Milner-Skudder was back running on the treadmill on Monday, though, and is encouraged with the strides he is making.

"I'm making progress. It obviously took a little bit longer than we expected. The first couple of weeks went so well just coming off the crutches, but the three-to-six-week mark it took a while to knit back together," he told Stuff.

"I got it re-X-rayed and there was a little bit of calcification of the bone, but not as much as we expected. I got back on the treadmill [on Monday] - another step in the right direction.

"It's a bit of relief and a lot of satisfaction changing it up from being on the rower and the grinder. It's heading in the right direction, getting back on my feet and getting the legs ticking over."

He added: "It [the foot injury] is not end of the year or anything like that. I'll work my way back and definitely hopeful of featuring in that June window. I'm unsure who it'll be for, but surely I'll be back playing some footy by then.

"I'm hoping just to get back out on the field with the Canes. The boys head off to Africa in three or four weeks' time, then they're back against the Chiefs at home before the break. I could try to pencil that in as a bit of a goal."