Chiefs scrum-half Brendon Leonard is set to miss the start of Super Rugby after fracturing his cheekbone during a pre-season match against the Highlanders.
The initial diagnosis suggests he will be sidelined for four to six weeks, meaning he will miss at least the first two matches of the season.
This is the latest setback for the former All Blacks number nine who has been battling injury for several seasons.
He spent most of last season on the sidelines due to hamstring and calf problems.
Leonard was used mostly off the replacements bench when he was fit, during the Chiefs' championship-winning run in 2012, after being leapfrogged by Tawera Kerr-Barlow.
The 27-year-old is not the only injury concern as several niggles were sustained during the 36-14 win over the Highlanders in Taupo last Saturday.
Chiefs medical staff are still assessing which players are unable to face the Reds in this weekend's warm-up match on the Sunshine Coast.
Captain Craig Clarke wants improvement from his side this week in their scrummaging and cleanout of the rucks but is otherwise satisfied with their season-opening performance.
"We're pretty happy to have a scoreline like that against the Highlanders, pre-season or not," he told AAP.
"In saying that, we're pretty realistic about it all. They travelled up on the day and had a lot of their guys missing."