Chiefs fly-half Aaron Cruden has been ruled out for six months with an ACL injury, ending his chances of playing at the Rugby World Cup.
The Chiefs and All Blacks were delivered devastating news when it was confirmed Cruden had ruptured his left anterior cruciate ligament.
The star playmaker will visit a surgeon on Wednesday to arrange a knee re-construction which is expected to keep him sidelined for six months.
In a brief statement issued on Monday, the Chiefs confirmed that Cruden would undergo traditional surgery "given Aaron's young age and long-term career prospects."
New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen said that the side would rally around Cruden in his time of need.
“It’s obviously hugely disappointing for Crudes and we will be supporting him as he goes through this tough time. He has developed into a very good Test All Black and is a key member of our team," he said.
"He will be a loss for the Chiefs and the All Blacks and we wish him all the best with his surgery and rehab over the next few months.
"As we know in the game of rugby, there are always going to be injuries and as selectors we plan for these unfortunate events and are constantly looking to build depth in all positions across the team."