Kieran Foran has been officially ruled out of the Rugby League World Cup.
The New Zealand Rugby League confirmed today the veteran five-eighth would miss the tournament, due to back and quad injuries.
The news is not a surprise, as Foran told Australian media on Saturday that he was "busted" and that he needed "a big off-season".
But it's still a considerable blow for the Kiwis.
Foran was one of New Zealand's most experienced backs, and he has played more tests with Shaun Johnson than any other halves partnership in Kiwis history.
He was a critical part of the Kiwis' memorable three-peat over the Kangaroos in 2014-15 and at his best his direct play and organisational skills provide the perfect foil for Johnson.
His absence will put more pressure and responsibility on Johnson, who opposition sides will target.
But coach David Kidwell has some decent options at his disposal, including veteran Thomas Leuluai, Cowboys standoff Te Maire Martin and Broncos utility Kodi Nikorima.
-More to come