Star Blues full-back Isaia Toeava has been ruled out of rugby for six to eight weeks due to a recurrent stress fracture in his hip.
Blues coach Pat Lam made the announcement at his side's training run in Auckland on Wednesday, although he added that the fracture was not as bad as Toeava had previously suffered.
It is expected Toeava will be out of consideration for the rest of the Super 15 season but should be available for consideration to play for New Zealand in the Tri Nations.
The 25-year-old has six weeks of non-weight bearing training to complete and will be free to train after that.
"It's disappointing for Ice (Toeava) in particular - a big loss for us as a team. He will start that process (rehabilitation) now," said Lam.
"The specialists are confident it is not a new stress fracture. It's the one he did a few years ago that has resurfaced again so it is just a case of getting off his feet and doing pool work and grinder and non weight-bearing stuff and he should be right to resume training in six weeks' time."
The injury became obvious over the weekend when Toeava felt some pain, and some tightness, and it had been checked out because he felt a loss of power in his hamstring.
"It's a big blow for us but these things happen in rugby and it is a big opportunity for someone else," Lam said.