Crusaders wing Zac Guildford could still make a return for the Christchurch-based franchise during the Super Rugby season.
The 23-year-old All Black is on indefinite leave following another alcohol-related incident.
But Crusaders assistant coach Aaron Mauger told New Zealand's RadioSport they're hopeful that Guildford would get through the next few weeks and potentially make a return.
It was thought that Sevens All Black Kurt Baker would be elevated from the Crusaders' wider training squad to permanently replace Guildford.
Mauger revealed that they will assess Baker's fitness later this week after the former Highlanders wing sustained a hamstring injury at the Wellington Sevens.
He added that they're hoping Baker will only be out for four weeks, but have also called in former Highlanders speedster Telusa Veainu as back-up.