Read edging closer to return

All Blacks captain Kieran Read hopes to be out of his cast by late next week as excitement builds over the Lions tour.

The tourists touched down in New Zealand on Wednesday, with Read speaking earlier in the day at the launch of the All Blacks new kit made by adidas.

Read suffered a broken thumb playing for the Crusaders and is due to return to face the Lions despite not having any game-time, although the number eight could be in the frame to face Samoa in New Zealand's warm-up clash.

However Read was upbeat when discussing his recovery.

"That's six weeks, and I get to take off my cast – that's when I can really start using it again, so all things are pointing towards it being positive," Read told NZ Newswire.

"Injuries are part and parcel of the game."

And Read added that he was excited to watch the Lions in their series of warm-up matches leading up to the first Test to get a better understanding of how Warren Gatland's side will come together.

"Once every 12 years means, really, that you'll play them once in your career – so it's a very special time," Read said.

"I can't wait to see them out on the field, it'll probably give us more of an indication of how they'll play and what they'll bring."

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