George Moala, one of the stars for the All Blacks in their 46-6 victory over Wales last night, has been ruled out for the Blues for up to four weeks due to an elbow injury.
The centre, in his second test, was forced from the field after 49 minutes, but in that time scored a try, made several breaks, and proved he is a genuine midfield option for coach Steve Hansen.
"His elbow is pretty sore," Hansen said today. "What he's done is he's stretched the ligaments that attach around the elbow joint so he could be three to four weeks, we'll just have to wait and see what happens over the next few days."
Asked if Moala had forced himself into the Rugby Championship reckoning, Hansen said: "He certainly got our interest last night."
The Blues, unlikely to make the Super Rugby play-offs, potentially have only three matches remaining this season, starting with a game against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.
Two matches against the Brumbies and Waratahs at Eden Park follow.
Another injury concern for Blues coach Tana Umaga is Charlie Faumuina, who started at tighthead prop in Dunedin. Faumuina has suffered a knee injury (medial ligament) and Hansen said he could be out for between one and three weeks.
Skipper Kieran Read suffered a "stinger" shoulder issue which wasn't serious, but Crusaders teammate Ryan Crotty, who started at second-five, is in doubt for the match against the Chiefs in Suva on Friday.
For Hansen, it will be a nervous wait as he says goodbye to his players before the Rugby Championship, which starts for them with a test against Australia in Sydney on August 20.
"I'm concerned about all of them, I don't want any of them to get injured," he said.
"But at the same time we can't wrap them up in cotton wool; we need them to play footy and they've got to play some big games and let's sit back and see how they cope with it. And the guys who do cope with it, that's a big advantage."