Brodie Retallick admits a few days ago he was worried his World Cup chances might be over.
The star lock was named in the 31-man All Blacks squad despite a shoulder injury which could sideline him until the quarterfinals.
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An illegal Springboks cleanout left Brodie Retallick with nerve damage in his shoulder.
"I went into a little bit of shock and scared Anton [Lienert-Brown]," Retallick said.
"I got out of the ruck and ran straight into him and said some words I probably shouldn't repeat.
Until a few days ago the star lock could barely lift a numb left arm, and now the feeling's back so he's started rehab.
"I was a little bit [worried] I was getting pretty frustrated," Retallick said.
"I guess I should have listened to the doc. He was like, it'll come, it'll come, but I wasn't seeing much progress."
While there's no definitive return date, Steve Hansen hopes it's the World Cup quarterfinal in seven weeks.
"He's worthy of that risk, he's a quality player and he'll add plenty to us off the park, Hansen said.
Retallick's maintained his sense of humour through the frustration.
"I think I might go to AA and get my international drivers license and jump in the kit van and drive around."
And his mates will be there to help.
"I suppose there is a lot of downtime, Guzzler likes a bit of cards. We'll get around him and play a bit of Euchre or up the creek," Ben Smith said.
For now, someone else must set the squad's standards for relentlessness.
"Oh, it's Dane Coles, 100 percent Dane Coles. He was pretty wound up Eden Park week, long may it continue," Retallick said.
The All Blacks hope Brodie Retallick can take back that mantle by the World Cup playoffs.
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