Crusaders skipper Richie McCaw has calmed fears about his fitness and is ready to make his Super 14 comeback against the ACT Brumbies on Friday.
The talismanic flanker has been rested for two weeks after suffering with a number of niggling injuries, sparking rumours of more serious problems.
But the 25-year-old, who is set to become New Zealand’s new captain following the retirement of Tana Umaga, is ready to play if selected by head coach Robbie Deans.
"I’m feeling pretty good. I’m available and will play on Friday night as long as Robbie picks me," McCaw said. "I will be ready."
McCaw insists he could have played on the team’s tour of South Africa if needed but decided to play it safe with the play-offs on the horizon.
"Robbie and I had a yarn after our first week (in South Africa) and I could have played."
"We talked about things and I have got a few niggly injuries that needed resting. It was just about wanting to be fresh for when we got home because in the end
they can get on top of you.
"It was a mutual decision between the two of us."