All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and assistant coach Ian Foster have both revealed that Kieran Read is close to returning to action.
The Crusaders number eight suffered a concussion against the Chiefs over a month ago, but has not been rushed back.
There is a possibility that he could return against the Highlanders this weekend, with McCaw stating that his condition had significantly improved, although he is yet to get back into full training.
"He's a lot better, there's no doubt about that," McCaw told Stuff.
"There's a bit of anxiety that goes with it when you have had a knock like that and had a few symptoms.
"I think the best thing is that he's taken things slowly, and whether he plays this week - I guess a decision had to be made.
"I know that I have been through that [a concussion] before, and when you feel right all those anxieties drop away, and it looks like he is almost at that point."
"He's been a little bit more active and I know our doctor has been working hard with the medicos at the Crusaders, and the last two days have been about adding a little bit more work to him to see how he responds," Foster told Stuff.
"It looked like he came through pretty well yesterday, and I think he will go back and get reassessed by the franchise."