Auckland: Flanker Sam Cane faces a race against time to be fit for the All Blacks` first Test against England at the weekend as the squad gathered on Monday.
A team spokesman said Canterbury Crusaders` loose forward Matt Todd had been called in as cover for Cane who suffered a knee strain during the Waikato Chiefs 17-33 loss to the New South Wales Waratahs Saturday.
A decision on whether Cane will be available, most likely as replacement cover for captain Richie McCaw, will be made later in the week.
Crusaders prop Joe Moody is also training with the All Blacks as loosehead Tony Woodcock recovers from a hip knock.
Moody is on the comeback trail after breaking a leg before the All Blacks northern tour last year while Todd has missed the past month of Super 15 rugby because of a calf injury.
The All Blacks had a light training run Monday with veteran centre Conrad Smith saying it could be some days before they were in shape for a Test.
"These first couple of days you`ve got to wait till everyone gets on that same level, and hopefully by Thursday we`ll all be ready to play a test match physically, and go together towards Saturday night," he said.