Crusaders assistant coach Ronan O'Gara hopes a nasty leg gash won't keep All Blacks prop Joe Moody on the sidelines for too long.
Moody had to be helped off the field early in the second half during Crusaders' 45-13 win over the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday (NZ time) after his left knee was gashed open by a stray boot.
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He was assisted off with two medics, one of them holding a towel around his knee, and blood could be seen on this thigh. The 30-year-old was seen limping around after the match.
The injury adds to the long list of setbacks Moody has had over the last 18 months, including a broken thumb, broken finger and split eyelid.
O'Gara is optimistic Moody will be fit to face the Stormers in Cape Town next weekend, but they will know more in the coming days.
"It's not as bad as first feared, but he's sitting up, and he's in good form," O'Gara said. "It's a nasty gash that's been stitched.
"Hopefully, it should be straightforward enough if it doesn't get infected, but you just don't know what got into it.
"We're hopeful that over a period of time he will be available quite soon. He's hard, so he will look to play [next week]."
The injury was the only blight for the Crusaders in a dominant display against their South African opponents.
They ran in seven tries to the Bulls' one, with winger Sevu Reece scoring a hat-trick, while first-five Richie Mo'unga scored a brace as part of his 20-point haul.
O'Gara, a former international first-five himself, praised Mo'unga for his work ethic - which was on full display against the Bulls.
"He just wants it," O'Gara said. "When you want it, usually things break for you.
"I just keep telling him he's got to keep showing up, keep putting the pressure on Beauden for when he gets back to the All Blacks.
The Crusaders now hold a seven-point lead atop the New Zealand conference with nine wins this season.
The two-time defending Super Rugby champions will welcome back Sam Whitelock for their clash against the Stormers after the lock has missed the teams past two games while on parental leave.