Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd expects to be without Vaea Fifita for the first month of their Super Rugby title defence.
The All Blacks tourist has been cleared of a broken leg, but still damaged ligaments in his ankle in his side's semi-final loss to the Crusaders at the Brisbane Tens.
Fifita fell heavily from a lineout, with the Hurricanes initally fearing he had sufferred a broken leg.
However, Boyd says it's far less serious than first feared, and believes Fifita will be able to return after their week five bye.
While the injury is a blow, Boyd says he's learnt to accept there are always going to be injuries in pre-season and at training.
The Chiefs were less fortunate with their injury toll from the Tens, with Brad Weber and Mitchell Graham both ruled out for the season with leg injuries.