All Blacks loose forward Ardie Savea has revealed he will miss the majority of the 2020 Super Rugby season.
Savea, who was one of the stars at the Rugby World Cup, will undergo surgery on the knee he injured during the All Blacks' World Cup semifinal defeat to England.
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Savea said in an Instagram post that he will be out of rugby for five to six months and miss 'the majority of the Super Rugby season'.
"Thought I'd let you guys know that I'll be getting surgery on my knee that I injured in the semifinal," Savea said.
"Unfortunately will be out for 5-6 months so will miss the majority of the Super Rugby season with my Canes brothers.
"Pretty guttered [sic] when I found out even though I thought I'd be sweet if something like this happened. I'm good now just been partying and relaxing and now will wait for surgery.
"Looking forward to the journey of rehabbing my knee and trying to get back on the field and supporting and helping the Canes in any way I can."
The Super Rugby season starts on January 31, with the round robin concluding on May 30, meaning it is possible that Savea could return to the field in time for the playoffs, if the Hurricanes make it.
However, that task will be much harder without the star No 7, especially when added to Beauden Barrett's departure this offseason to the Blues.
Savea's absence will give more opportunties to up-and-coming flanker Du'Plessis Kirifi, with Gareth Evans, Vaea Fifita, Reed Prinsep and Murphy Taramai currently the Hurricanes' other loose forward options in their 2020 squad.
His injury could also open the door for other contenders to put their hand up as Kieran Read's replacement as All Blacks No 8. While Savea was tipped as a leading contender, if he can't get gametime under his belt at the position early this year, it could leave the spot open for another player to fill, at least temporarily, before Savea returns to full fitness.
The All Blacks' first tests in 2020 come in July, with two tests against Wales, before one against Scotland.