Ardie Savea is on course for an early return to Super Rugby, having been feared to miss most of the Hurricanes' 2020 campaign with a knee injury.
Savea, 26, was initially slated to miss most of 2020 after picking up a knee injury in the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup semi-final defeat to England. The All Blacks and Hurricanes flanker went under the knife at the end of 2019, estimated to be out for five to six months.
However, speaking to media ahead of the Hurricanes' pre-season match against the Crusaders in Ashburton, new coach Jason Holland teased that Savea's return could come much earlier than anticipated.
"He's doing everything right at the moment and he's coming along nicely," Holland said.
Savea's early return would be a boost for the All Blacks as well as the Hurricanes, a potential candidate to replace former captain Kieran Read at the back of the scrum under new coach Ian Foster.