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<hash>Jane</hash> not certain of Hurricanes return

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012    Sportal.co.nz    Getty Images

The winger has been out of action since suffering a high ankle sprain in the loss to the Brumbies in mid-May.

It had been hoped the 32-Test All Black would be fit to go this weekend but Jane admitted progress had been slower than he would have liked and that he was unwilling to risk further injury by playing before he was fully recovered.

"Last week I was on the treadmill running but I was in the moon boot a bit too long, or longer than I wanted to be in there," he said.

"But slowly I'm getting back to running and we'll use this week and try and get it right for the weekend.

"If it's not going to be 100 percent then I won't be playing because I still want to play some rugby this year.

"Everyone plays with a little bit of pain but I don't want to go out there and have it too sore, fall over, and have something real bad happen to it."

Victor Vito, who injured his knee in the first Test victory against Ireland, is another doubtful starter for Mark Hammett's side on Saturday, while standout halfback TJ Perenara is out of rugby for the rest of the year after breaking his ankle in the exhibition match against the Queensland Reds on the Sunshine Coast.

The 20-year-old's recovery has been further hampered by a post-surgery blood clot which has meant staying in Brisbane longer than planned. He is likely to return to Wellington later this week.

The Hurricanes need to win in Christchurch to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Sitting sixth overall on 45 points heading into this weekend, the Hurricanes have the Sharks (45), Highlanders (44) and Reds (44) breathing down their necks.

They have a bye the following week before a final crunch clash against the Chiefs at home on July 13.

It means Jane could have limited opportunities to press for selection in the All Blacks Rugby Championship squad after missing out against Ireland because of his injury.

"It's been frustrating, watching rugby and not being there... in that environment," the 29-year-old said.

He faces competition from Julian Savea, Zac Guildford, Ben Smith and Hosea Gear for one of four wing spots in Steve Hansen's squad which will be named on August 5, the day after the Super Rugby final.

"I had that last year when I missed out on the Tri Nations," said Jane. "I was injury cover and I figured then 'those guys are in front of me but they've got to work hard because I'm coming for them'. It's the same thing now.

"They are in the team now and I'm not but I want to get back there. I've got to get my ankle 100 percent and work at trying to get back into that team. I want to be there."