Dan Carter's comeback from a broken leg took a step in the right direction, the All Blacks fly-half getting through a training session.
Carter is slowly making his way back from suffering a crack in his right leg in the Crusaders' Super Rugby final loss to the Waratahs in August, completing a training session with ITM Cup side Canterbury on Wednesday.
The 100-capped international said he was pain-free after the session, as he eyes a return to competitive rugby against Southland on September 28.
"It is all going to plan. We knew it was going to take six weeks for the bone to heal and last weekend was the six-week mark," Carter said.
"That was the first real, sort of uncontrolled rugby training I have had today and I got through it with no discomfort."
Carter said it will take time for him to regain confidence in putting weight on the recovering leg.
"I have done some really basic tackling and a lot of uncontrolled running today - nothing in terms of contact," he said.
"Kicking is the other thing I need to really get some confidence back in over the next week and a half.
"With it being my plant foot it is taking a lot of the load when kicking. It is just something I have to progress."
Carter is yet to represent the All Blacks in 2014, after enjoying a six-month sabbatical earlier in the year before succumbing to injury at club level.
The 32-year-old said he wanted to ease back into competing, before a potential return to Steve Hansen's side for their Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia in Brisbane on October 18.
"Not playing a lot of rugby this year, it just made sense to come back and play ITM Cup level rather than be rushed into international level," Carter said.
"With things going well for the All Blacks there is no need to do that. I just need game time and hopefully I will be able to get some here in the Canterbury jersey."