The All Blacks could be forced to take a punt on undercooked locking reinforcements for the weekend's Bledisloe Cup encore after Sam Whitelock became the latest injury concern to hit the camp.
The All Blacks are already sweating on the status of Beauden Barrett's Achilles niggle that ruled him out of the drawn test in Wellington, with Otago playmaker Josh Ioane called into camp as cover.
"He's looking likely, absolutely, but he was looking likely this time last weekend so we'll see how he gets through Friday," All Blacks assistant coach John Plumtree said of Barrett.
"It seems to be an issue for him this year I know the Blues had the same issues when he was there. It's something that is niggling away and potentially [he may need to] take a bit of a break from the game so it clears up."
Richie Mo'unga is also nursing a bruised shoulder after copping several late hits but is expected to be available this week.
As they seek to rectify their flat first up performance, the All Blacks are pondering a reshuffle of their thin second-row stocks too.
Plumtree revealed Whitelock, who played the full 88 minutes against the Wallabies, did not take part in training.
"Sam Whitelock had some headaches after the game so he'll go through concussion protocols and see how he gets on during the week," Plumtree said.
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Fortunately for the All Blacks, Scott Barrett is ready to return from toe surgery that has sidelined him since June. Barrett was originally scheduled to be back early next month but has made positive progress and trained with the team for the past two weeks.
"He's followed his rehab programme perfectly and this is potentially his return to play date so it's just how we use Scotty - whether we send him back to play for Taranaki or whether he plays a role with us. That will be something we'll consider.
"It's a little while since he's played so there are all those factors to consider but Scotty is a pretty honest boy, he knows where he is at. He's done a lot of work the last couple of weeks around not just his conditioning but contact work and set-piece stuff so he's pretty much taking part in everything, which is good for us."
Throwing Barrett straight into the Wallabies after three months without rugby would be a risk but if Whitelock is unavailable the alternative is starting 20-year-old Tupou Vaa'i, who played three minutes off the bench in his test debut last weekend.
Two weeks ago the All Blacks were forced to replace rookie prospect Quinten Strange with fellow Crusaders lock Mitchell Dunshea after the Tasman lock rolled his ankle in training in Hamilton.
All Blacks prop Nepo Laulala is expected to return after pulling out late last week for personal reasons.