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Kieran Read not far away from action

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James Mortimer     16 Apr 2013     Getty Images

Partially tearing ligaments in his big toe, Read was forced to miss his side's three-match tour of South Africa and Western Australia, and is not scheduled to return for at least another couple of weeks.

The Crusaders return home to Christchurch this week before back-to-back home matches against the Highlanders and Rebels - before a blockbuster in Canberra, with the Crusaders heading to play the Australian Conference leaders in Round 12.

Read and the Crusaders have not locked in a date for his return, but Read said to Newstalk ZB he hoped to be back within a fortnight.

"I think it's tough to put a week on it, it's just how it responds to doing a bit more work and some running," he said.

"I'm hopeful maybe in the next couple of weeks to be back."

The Crusaders are ninth on the table, and sit fourth overall on the New Zealand Conference.