The Chiefs have suffered another big injury blow ahead of their trip to face the Sunwolves in Japan, with versatile forward Mitchell Brown ruled out for up to nine months.

Brown ruptured the ACL in his right knee in the side's win over the Bulls on Friday night and will be required to undergo surgery to repair it.

The 24-year-old loose forward, who had been starting at lock for the injured Dominic Bird (shoulder), had already missed the majority of the Chiefs' opening two games. He sustained a concussion six minutes into their season opener which kept him sidelined for the clash against the Blues on March 2.

With Brown's injury, the Chiefs' lock stocks are dwindling. Fin Hoeata sustained a should injury during training last week which would also require surgery and keep him sidelined for up to nine months, while Bird's status was still unconfirmed.

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Michael Allardice looks the likely option to move into the starting line up alongside Brodie Retallick this weekend, although Taleni Seu could slot in at lock if he recovers from a thigh issue that ruled him out against the Bulls.

There were fewer concerns in the backline. Outside back Shaun Stevenson was the only back listed in the team's injury report. After injuring his knee in the warm up for the Blues match, Stevenson was unavailable for the clash against the Bulls. He was expected to remain that way for the immediate future, being ruled out for another four to six weeks.