Blues halfback Piri Weepu has left South Africa after failing to recover from a rib injury he sustained against the Sharks on Sunday.
He joined first-five Chris Noakes on a flight back to Auckland last night leaving, the side without two crucial starters for a must-win clash against the Cheetahs on Sunday morning.
Blues doctor Stephen Kara said it was highly unlikely Weepu's injury would settle prior to the game this weekend so a decision had to be made.
Jamison Gibson-Park is expected to start in the nine jersey with Baden Kerr most likely to play outside him.
Wayne Ngaluafe, who debuted for the Blues against France last month, will fly out today as a replacement.
With the Cheetahs ending the regular season with a bye, the Blues need to beat the South African side to ensure their playoff hopes are still alive when they face the Chiefs in their final game.