The Chiefs have suffered another injury blow to their pack, with experienced loosehead prop Pauliasi Manu suffering a season-ending injury in training.
Ahead of what would have been his 50th game for the franchise against the Force on Saturday night, Manu ruptured his Achilles tendon at training this morning.
The injury occurred while he was jogging during a low-intensity drill and will leave Manu requiring surgery in the next few days. The expected rehabilitation period is six-to-nine months, ruling the 28-year-old out of all rugby for the remainder of 2016.
The injury further weakens a Chiefs front row that in the pre-season lost new signing Nepo Laulala to a season-ending knee injury, a blow that saw Dave Rennie's side sign Japanese prop Hiroshi Yamashita.
Locks Brodie Retallick, Dominic Bird and Johan Bardoul have also suffered serious injury in the current campaign, though the Chiefs have recovered from the setbacks to top the New Zealand conference after four games.