The Crusaders have suffered a serious injury blow in the opening week of the season, with Richie Mo'unga ruled out of rugby for up to two months.
The first five-eighth today had surgery to repair a fractured bone in his left hand, having sustained the injury during the Crusaders' 17-13 win over the Brumbies on Saturday night.
Mo'unga played a full 80 minutes in the match and impressed in general play while suffering an off night from the kicking tee. But, according to a team statement, he presented with a sore hand after the match and further investigations revealed the fracture.
Mo'unga was said to be recovering well but expected to be out of action for six-to-eight weeks.
In the meantime, the Crusaders' pivot duties will be entrusted to Mitchell Hunt and Marty McKenzie. Hunt, 21, made his Super Rugby debut last year and appeared in two matches for the Crusaders, while McKenzie featured in four after moving south from the Chiefs.