Broken thumb leaves All Blacks' Squire a doubt for Lions opener

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New Zealand and Highlanders flanker Liam Squire faces six weeks on the sidelines after breaking his thumb in the Super Rugby clash with Cheetahs.

Squire has been in the conversation to start for the All Blacks against the British and Irish Lions with Kieran Read and Jerome Kaino both on the sidelines through injury.

But he faces a race against time for the first Test of the three-match series on June 24 at Eden Park after injuring himself in the dramatic 45-41 win at Cheetahs.

"It is broken and he's on the plane home. He's probably looking at six weeks out for a broken thumb," Highlanders coach Tony Brown told reporters on Friday.

"With Kieran Read out, Liam was probably next cab off the rank [for the All Blacks]. Hopefully, both Kieran and Jerome Kaino can get back in time for the Lions."

Squire signed a two-year contract extension at Highlanders last month.