Chiefs' co-captain and flyhalf Aaron Cruden has broken his left thumb and is expected to miss the next six to eight weeks of Super Rugby.
The injury occurred during the Chiefs 43-all draw against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon.
Cruden visited hospital to undergo x-rays at the conclusion of the match which identified a fracture in his left thumb.
The 29-cap All Black has played every possible minute of the Chiefs' season to far (480 minutes in six appearances) and has scored 60 points (1 try, 14 conversions, 9 penalties). He ranks fourth in the team for carries (53), third for clean breaks (5) and first in offloads (13).
He's also made 40 tackles, behind only Liam Messam (43) and Brodie Retallick (41).
Cruden will be sidelined for up to eight weeks, in which time the Chiefs face the Rebels (H), Crusaders (H), Brumbies (A), Lions (H), Blues (H), Hurricanes (A) and Waratahs (H).
Unfortunately a slow start & a few missed goal kicks cost us in the end. Thanks for the continued & loyal support. We appreciate it all....— Aaron Cruden (@aaron_cruden) April 5, 2014
And r grateful to have such passionate fans. Keep the faith as we r so close to putting it all together. Back home 2mrw. Bring on next week!— Aaron Cruden (@aaron_cruden) April 5, 2014