Brodie Retallick 'progressing really well' but no timeline for All Blacks return

All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick is making good progress in his bid for an early return to the field, having arrived in Japan with a shoulder injury.

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The lock came into the World Cup with a shoulder injury. Source: 1 NEWS

Retallick, 28, left All Blacks coaches and fans sweating after leaving the field in agony against the Springboks earlier this year with a dislocated shoulder.

Possibly returning to the All Blacks for the World Cup quarter-finals at the earliest, Retallick's return was hinted at by the Springboks, but he sat out New Zealand's 23-13 victory over South Africa in Yokohama.

Fronting media today though, All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster revealed where Retallick was at in his recovery plan.

"Nothing's really changed," Foster began.

"This time last week, the South Africans thought he was playing against them.

"He's progressing really well. Whether it's [Retallick's return] the next game, or the next game or the next game will just depend on the next two weeks.

"He's actually progressing slightly better than we planned. The exact date [we] don't know, but we're pretty excited with his progress."

Retallick himself fronted media today for the first time this World Cup, speaking about his troublesome shoulder.

"The shoulder's tracking along really good, the progress is going well. Slowly working through the steps we've got in place.

"Not sure on an exact date, but hopefully sooner rather than later I'll be available for selection."

Retallick is almost certain to play no part in the All Blacks' next World Cup fixture, against Canada in Oita on October 2.