Read still three weeks away from Crusaders return

New Zealand captain Kieran Read is still three weeks away from a return to action, say the Crusaders.

Read endured a tough 2018 following back surgery and has been rested for the early part of the Super Rugby season ahead of another big year for the All Blacks, with the Rugby World Cup getting under way in Japan in September.

And with the Crusaders having won their first three matches of the campaign, they are in no rush to bring Read back.

Assistant coach Jason Ryan confirmed on Monday that, while Read is back in training, the 33-year-old is not yet ready for action.

"Reado is probably three weeks away," Ryan told reporters. "We are not 100 per cent sure yet.

"We will just see how he goes. He is back into his training and so forth. We are pretty confident."

Discussing whether the call on Read's fitness had been made by the Crusaders or the All Blacks, the coach added: "A bit of both. We can't say much more than that.

"He is looking good, training today and jumping in the lineouts and he had a good week last week."

Ryan was able to confirm that Codie Taylor is available for selection again, though, while Sam Whitelock is "not far away at all".

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