Tasman winger James Lowe has been sidelined for most of the Mitre 10 Cup season after breaking his thumb.
Lowe, who was one of the Chiefs' top performers during their run to Super Rugby's semi-finals, did the damage against Waikato in the season's opening game.
He initially though it was just a bruise and turned out against Canterbury last weekend. However scans suggested otherwise. He underwent an operation to repair the damage on Friday and was sidelined with a cast on his lower arm while his team-mates played Taranaki on Saturday.
Early reports suggested the Chiefs star would miss the remainder of the season, but Lowe was hopeful of making a rapid recovery and donning the Makos jersey again this year, especially after he was forced to sit out the whole 2015 season after a shoulder operation.
"The surgeon reckons [recovery] is about six weeks," Lowe told Tasman's official website.
"I'll get this cast off in about a week and a half, then get a plastic splint. Hopefully after that I'll be able to rock and roll."
Despite his long-term optimism, Lowe is "gutted" that he will definitely have to sit out another large chunk of t season.
"It's stressful," he added.
"I mean, I was out for the whole of last season and then to be told that I could be ruled out for this one, it's gut-wrenching.
"I love coming back home, it just sucks to be injured again.
"I would love to be back for the tail end of the season and that's what I'm aiming for. I'll do everything I possibly can to get fit and ready for that. If it's meant to be it's meant to be, if it's not, it's not."