Key first-five Daniel Carter has been ruled out of the entire Rugby World Cup with a torn left groin, with Aaron Cruden being called into the squad as cover.
All Black doctor Deb Robinson said Carter had a tear in the tendon and his World Cup was over.
A scan has revealed the 29-year-old, 85 test All Blacks vice-captain had torn the adductor longus tendon in his left groin.
He suffered the injury during kicking practice at the captain's run training session in Wellington yesterday afternoon.
Robinson said: "The scan confirmed our worst fears that the tendon has torn which means he is out of the tournament."
Meanwhile All Blacks coach Graham Henry has reiterated that Colin Slade has always been their first choice to backup Dan Carter, despite growing calls for halfback Piri Weepu to be used as a pivot.
Henry said earlier today that he was devastated for Carter.
"He has worked so hard to be at a peak for Rugby World Cup."
"We will rally around him and pull together as a team."
Under the tournament rules the All Blacks have replaced Carter with Manawatu's Aaron Cruden.
Robinson said Carter would see a specialist next week to determine how the injury would be treated with surgery a possibility.
Colin Slade will start against Canada today but will fight it out with Piri Weepu and Cruden for a start in the quarter final knock-out match against Argentina next Sunday.
In what turned out to be a disastrous day yesterday, first captain McCaw pulled out of the Canada clash with an irritated foot then, later in the day, Carter went down in a heap at training after damaging a groin goalkicking.
McCaw is suffering from an ongoing foot problem but is expected to play the remaining games in the World Cup.