In the wake of yet another injury setback for Sonny Bill Williams, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen had a basic message for the star midfielder: take it easy.

Injuries have been an ongoing plague to Williams' career in recent years, with his time in the 2019 Super Rugby season limited to just three starts for the Blues.

Cleared to play two matches for Ponsonby to get some game time in his legs, Williams was ruled out this weekend due to a tight hamstring. It would have been his second week with the club after playing in last weekend's win over Grammar Tec.

Speaking to Radio Sport's Jim Kayes, Hansen said Williams' trouble with injuries was a worry.

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"I'm very confident we'll get him back into form, I'm not so confident about the durability; you can't say he's shown that of late," Hansen said.

"We've got to be patient. I think the biggest problem with Sonny at the moment is he's trying really hard to force himself to get on the park. When you get injured, a better process is to take your time, take your time, take your time, and come in with a slow build up. Then you've got the mileage under your belt for your body to be able to take it.

"He doesn't have that luxury so he's forcing it and getting wee tweaks and strains. We'll just be patient and see, we don't have to make decisions until later on. He deserves the benefit of the doubt, he's played a lot of test matches and he's no different to anyone else in that situation."

Sonny Bill Williams had been struck down by injuries throughout his career. Photo / Photosport.
Sonny Bill Williams had been struck down by injuries throughout his career. Photo / Photosport.

Williams endured another difficult, injury-disrupted season for the Blues which restricted him to three starts – his final appearance against the Hurricanes in Wellington on June 15 coming after a 10-week layoff following knee surgery.

Such a frustrating campaign left him lacking game-time and match fitness ahead of the Rugby Championship and World Cup in Japan.