Brodie Retallick could be out of action for up to a month with his AC joint injury according to Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie.
The current World Rugby Player of the Year suffered the injury in last week's win over the Crusaders and has been ruled out of the Chiefs' clash with the Highlanders this weekend.
He is also likely to miss the Chiefs' upcoming tour of South Africa, with Rennie wary of taking a player who wouldn't be fit for the opening game against the Stormers in Cape Town, especially with the tour party limited to 27 players.
"The recovery time obviously depends on the grade [of his injury] but we're thinking three or four weeks could be worst case scenario," Rennie said.
"So you're pretty thin on numbers (on tour). It gives you maybe two extra floaters and of course if you get an injury over there you need a replacement so carrying an injured player makes that hard so I'd say if he is not available for that first game against the Stormers he probably won't travel."