Highlanders number eight Nasi Manu is set to be sidelined for the majority of the Super Rugby season after suffering a serious foot injury in his side's opening round loss to the Chiefs.
The 24-year-old, who has 49 Super Rugby games under his belt, dislocated a ligament in his foot and underwent surgery on Monday.
Manu's foot will now be in a moon boot for the next three months.
It's a big blow for the Highlanders, who have been left short on experienced loose forwards following the departure of flank Adam Thomson to Japan.
The Highlanders have a bye this weekend, but Southland number eight Elliot Dixon - who replaced Manu last Friday - is expected to start against the Cheetahs on March 9.