Blues openside flanker Luke Braid will have shoulder surgery during Super Rugby's off-season, which rules him out of Auckland's ITM Cup campaign.
The 25-year-old has been superb for his team this season but has been feeling pain during his showings, leading to him making the decision.
"It had got to the point where it was hurting more frequently," Braid told the New Zealand Herald.
"I got a scan which showed they weren't the best and due for a bit of a clean-up. I just thought that being 25 and halfway through my career. I hadn't had any major surgeries before. I've done pretty well to get to this point."
Braid, who was snubbed by the All Blacks for the recent Tests against England - Matt Todd and Sam Cane being Richie McCaw's understudies - believes he'll come back hungry to change that.
"I needed that break, but I definitely still have a huge desire to try to make the All Blacks," he added.
"I'll have the surgery, have six months off and get back for Super Rugby. That gives me time to have a rest mentally and get my body a bit bigger."