Midfielder Ryan Thomas has been ruled out of the All Whites' tour of the USA after suffering a significant haematoma to his quad muscle.
The promising 21-year-old, who grew up in Te Puke and plays his football for PEC Zwolle in the Netherlands, was rated a 50-50 chance of making the tour by All Whites head coach Anthony Hudson on Thursday and has been ruled out on the eve of the team's arrival because of the injury. He is also recovering from a knee injury.
Thomas, who has played five internationals for New Zealand, is replaced by Wellington Phoenix midfielder Louis Fenton in the 23-man squad.
"It's a shame for Ryan as I know he was desperate to play on this tour and get back into the All Whites environment," said Hudson.
"We wish him all the best in his recovery and hope to have him back for our home qualifiers. Ryan's injury is unfortunate for him but we are pleased to bring Louis Fenton back into the squad.
"The door has opened up for him, and we have every confidence that he'll come straight in and do well for us."
The All Whites, to be captained by West Ham United centre back Winston Reid, play two international friendlies on their tour of the USA.
They face World No 14 Mexico in Nashville on October 8 and then meet the World No 26 the USA on October 11 in Washington DC. Both games are live on SKY Sport.
All Whites Tour of the USA
Game 1 v Mexico
When: Saturday, October 8
Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
Kick-off: 5pm local time (11am, Sunday, October 9)
Game 2 v USA
When: Tuesday, October 11
Where: Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington DC
Kick-off: TBC likely to be 8pm local time (Wednesday, October 12, 1pm NZ time)
Both games live on SKY Sport