The 27-year-old, however, was quickly cleared of anything serious, assistant coach Ian Foster said when asked if it was shades of deja vu after the 2011 World Cup when the All Blacks lost three flyhalves, including Slade, to injury during the tournament.
“He slipped over during training and landed awkwardly on his knee and gave it a bit of a tweak,” Foster told reporters in Wellington. “He was walking around the shed afterwards.
Foster added that inside centre Sonny Bill Williams had missed the session due to a cold while Waisake Naholo, who is still recovering from a broken leg, and Liam Messam only had light training by themselves.
Prop Charlie Faumuina, who missed several months as he recovered from neck surgery and was then concussed when training with the Auckland provincial team two weeks ago, came through the session fine.
“It was good to be back out there with the boys, it was pretty physical,” Faumuina told reporters. “I’m a little bit banged up and a little bit sore but it’s all good.”
Faumuina underwent surgery towards the end of the Super Rugby season to relieve pressure on a pinched nerve in his neck that was causing him pain and diminishing his strength.
That strength was slowly returning, he said, with a special neck harness allowing him to build up his power in the gym during weights sessions, he said.
“Like any other muscle it just needs time in the gym to get tougher,” he added. “I have that harness and just jump on one of the cable machines and do rotations.”
Faumuina could possibly play for Auckland this week against Waikato in an effort to regain match fitness after he had been involved in a head clash with a provincial team mate at training on Aug. 18 and concussed, which had delayed his recovery.
“It’s been a bit frustrating with the neck surgery and then coming back and potentially playing and then getting concussed,” the 28-year-old said.
“It slowed me down a little bit but I’m just so happy to be back in the team and looking forward to getting on with it.”
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)