Injured Chiefs lock Michael Allardice will begin rehab in the hopes of returning to ITM Cup rugby with Hawkes Bay later in the year.
During the controversial loss to the Hurricanes on Saturday, Allardice ruptured the medial ligament in his left knee during a breakdown.
Allardice will begin rehab immediately while remaining in the Chiefs team environment but is keeping one eye on Hawkes Bay and a return to rugby in the ITM Cup, beginning in August.
Allardice described his injury as a very quick event.
“I went over the top of the ruck to have a go at the ball, I got cleaned out, and as I came up I heard a pop and felt the pain come up my leg,” Allardice said.
Allardice suspected his season was over while still on the field, and the rupture was confirmed shortly after in the training sheds by team medics.
Allardice first stepped into the Chiefs environment last year when the club offered the loose forward a chance to get a taste of Super Rugby.
Shortly after, Allardice signed a deal to join full time.
“The players are really welcoming and I think that I am a better player being in this environment,” Allardice said.
Allardice made his debut against the Highlanders this year, and prior to his season-ending injury had been working towards trying to secure increasing amounts of game time.
Allardice didn’t think twice about re-signing with the Chiefs when the offer was made.
“I didn’t look anywhere else, as soon as the Chiefs came to me and said they were keen to have me on for another couple of years I was pretty keen on getting pen to paper”.