WELLINGTON: Former All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter has undergone neck surgery to fix a problem that showed up during a medical examination that cost him a lucrative short-term contract with French club Racing 92.
Carter, a three-times world player of the year and two-time World Cup winner, had agreed a short-term contract with his former club in the French capital but it was cancelled when he failed the medical in early March.
The 37-year-old confirmed at the time he would need to have surgery.
"Another challenge to conquer!," Carter said on Thursday on his Twitter account, which included a photograph of him lying in a hospital bed and wearing a neck brace. "Happy my neck surgery went well and now the long road to recovery starts."
Carter, who retired from test rugby after the 2015 World Cup final, left Racing in May 2018 at the end of a three-year contract and joined Kobelco Steelers in Japan's Top League.
He led the Steelers to their first title since 2004 last year and had been granted dispensation by the Japanese club to play for Racing as a replacement for Springboks utility back Patrick Lambie, who had to retire in February due to concussion.
French media reports had said Carter had been expected to be paid between 25,000-35,000 euros (US$28,187.50-US$39,462.50) a month for the contract.
The Top League, normally played from August to January has been postponed this year until next January due to the Rugby World Cup, which is being held in Japan from Sept. 20-Nov. 2.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)