Highlanders flank Liam Squire has been ruled out for six weeks with a broken thumb sustained in his side's 25-17 victory over the Crusaders on Saturday.
Squire will miss next weekend's crunch clash with the Hurricanes, but Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger was delighted with the impact that Elliot Dixon had when coming on as Squire's replacement after half-time.
Dixon was a nuisance at the breakdown, while he also made some barnstorming carries and big hits.
"He just got a bang on the thumb, it was a bit sore," Mauger said of Squire, who broke a thumb last year. "We've got a fantastic bench, and I thought Elliot [Dixon] did a great job [after replacing him]."