Brodie Retallick's Rugby World Cup dreams remain alive after scans revealed no structural damage to the All Black lock's dislocated shoulder.
Retallick was taken to Wellington Hospital hospital in the 60th minute during the All Blacks' 16-16 draw against the Springboks. He was left in agony from what appeared to be an illegal ruck cleanout by South African forward RG Snyman.
There were fears the 28-year-old would be ruled out of the World Cup as a dislocated shoulder can take up to 16 weeks to heal, but All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said he was "hopeful" Retallick would be fit for the showpiece event.
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"He's only dislocated it so there is a good possibility he could make the World Cup," Hansen said on Sunday. "No timeline when he'll return to play, but hopefully he'll be fine for the World Cup.
"He's one of our best players - so relieved.
"The cleanout itself was technically OK, apart for the fact he was offside - he entered the ruck from the side of the ruck - but that's only a penalty."
The loss of Retallick would have been huge as the All Blacks chase their third successive World Cup, starting against South Africa on September 21 in Yokohama.
The All Blacks are already without utility Damian McKenzie for the rest of 2019 due to a knee injury.
Speaking after the match, All Blacks hooker Dane Coles said it was tough to see Retallick leave the field in severe pain.
"I found myself watching him when he was down. Usually, you can kind of get on with things, but watching Big Guzz I was like 'man'," Coles said.
"He's one of those guys you want on your team, that you love to go out to battle with. I'm pretty gutted for him. I don't know what the prognosis is, so hopefully it's best-case scenario, and he can rehab it up.
"He's a tough man, and maybe a needle will help. I speak for the whole group when I say we feel for the big lad because he's a good man.
On Wednesday, Hansen will trim his squad from 39 to 34 for the two Bledisloe Cup tests against the Wallabies, the first of which is in Perth on August 10.
Hansen added that Sonny Bill Williams will not travel to Perth, instead playing for Counties' next two games in the Mitre 10 Cup.
First-five Josh Ioane would also play provincial rugby.
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