The Hurricanes are likely to be without wings Julian Savea and Salesi Rayasi for the rest of the season due to injury.
Coach Jason Holland, preparing his side for an injury-hit Crusaders on Saturday, revealed the news today.
The pair hurt themselves in the defeat to the Blues last weekend, with Savea damaging a pectoral muscle and Rayasi a knee.
“They’re both pretty serious injuries and we probably won’t see them again,” Holland said.
“Sas has done his MCL in his knee and Jules has an issue with his pec.
“We’re still waiting for some results on Jules but neither are available this week and won’t be around next week either.”
The news came as Crusaders coach Scott Robertson today revealed midfielder David Havili would be out for the rest of the season due to a torn hamstring, with loose forward Cullen Grace similarly sidelined due to a dislocated kneecap.
The Crusaders will take the Sky Stadium pitch on Saturday needing only one competition point to secure second place and potential home semifinal.
The Hurricanes are currently in fifth.
Savea, a 32-year-old former All Black who holds the record for the most Hurricanes caps and tries, was in good form this season but has indicated he may move on.
However, Holland, who will be replaced by Clark Laidlaw next year at the Hurricanes as he takes up a job as Robertson’s assistant at the All Blacks, said he wouldn’t rule out Savea staying.
“Jules is an awesome Hurricane and there’s definitely potential for him to continue with the Hurricanes,” he said.
“It’s tough on Jules. He loves playoffs and to get an injury at this time of year is tough on anyone but there’s still more to offer from Jules.
“All I know is what I’ve seen this year and he’s contributed massively to the environment and that group of backs around knowledge, chat and an understanding of what we’re trying to do.
“He’s also still in really good nick and playing some really good footy. He’s started most of our games on the wings and that’s where we’ve held him in the pecking order.”
Rookie wing Daniel Sinkinson will start in the No. 14 jersey against the Crusaders, with Kini Naholo on the other wing.