Chiefs scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow has been ruled out for six weeks after breaking his jaw in last weekend's win over the Highlanders.
The 22-year-old All Black, who initially thought it was an aggravation of wisdom tooth pain, took a bang to his mouth in the 19-7 triumph in Hamilton and received treatment a couple of times during the match.
He had his swollen jaw x-rayed on Saturday and it turned out that he had broken it.
"[Kerr-Barlow's] face was swollen after the game - he obviously got a bang around there - and it had been sore in the week leading into it," Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie told Fairfax Media.
"He had a scan the day before and there was nothing visible other than something around his wisdom tooth."
The loss of Kerr-Barlow is a blow for the defending champions but Rennie will not be too worried as another All Blacks scrum-half, Brendon Leonard, is set to return after recovering from a fractured cheekbone which kept him on the sidelines since last month.
"It's good timing with Harry [Leonard] coming back in but it's tough for Tawera and he's pretty gutted," Rennie added.