All Blacks coach Graham Henry told the flanker to take "four or five weeks" away from rugby, starting next Monday and counting him out of the domestic Air New Zealand Cup tournament for Canterbury.
In a year marked by rotation of the 15 black jerseys, McCaw has captained the All Blacks in eight of their nine Tests this year.
"He's had more rugby than anyone else and he's played outstandingly, the best he's ever played at international level," Henry said.
"He'll have an extended rest before he plays again."
The All Blacks round off their Tri Nations campaign against South Africa on Saturday having already wrapped up the title.