Daniel Carter will not play any rugby for at least a month after breaking his leg in the Super Rugby final on Saturday.
Scans have revealed he cracked a small bone in his right leg and will now miss the opening Bledisloe Cup tests and probably the All Blacks next two matches against Argentina and the Springboks in Napier and Wellington.
A medical bulletin from the Crusaders said the small crack in his fibula was not originally detected in an x-ray and required a scan to locate it. The injury will require rest and it's hoped that recovery will take approximately 4 weeks.
Carter's latest injury means an end to his initial challenge to regain his five eighths starting role with Aaron Cruden favoured to start Bledisloe I in Sydney on August 16 with Beauden Barrett in the reserves.
Carter was not the only All Black casualty from the Super 15 final with the Waratahs.
Loosehead prop Wyatt damaged his left knee but it is settling and he is expected to train next week. One of his deputies, Joe Moody was concussed and while he is improving his symptoms have not disappeared.
Lock Dominic Bird injured his big right toe and he will be sent for further imaging and diagnosis this afternoon.
Carter's injury has stalled his comeback after a seven month sabbatical.
The 32-year-old played his 100th test against England at Twickenham last year before going off with injury and into his reconditioning.
He resumed with some club rugby then returned to Super rugby after the June break and played at second five eighths outside Colin Slade as the Crusaders advanced to the final against the Waratahs.
Carter damaged his leg when he ran into a midfield tackle and he left the field soon after when he attempted a clearing kick and could not sustain any weight on his injured leg.
There was no guarantee Carter was going to start the opening Bledisloe Cup test although All Black coach Steve Hansen offered strong hints that was his preference.
Now Aaron Cruden will continue in the role he had against England during the June test series and should start his 32nd test when the All Blacks meet the Wallabies in Sydney on August 16 as they attempt to achieve a world record winning sequence of 18 victories.