Rieko Ioane's dislocated finger is unlikely to alter plans for the All Blacks end of year tour.
Ioane will be sidelined for two weeks after suffering the blow in last night's 23-18 defeat to the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium, where he scored one late try.
But with the All Blacks set to open their northern tour against the Barbarians at Twickenham on November 5 in a match which will be used to give fringe players a run, Ioane was not likely to feature anyway.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has been hit hard by deflections in the outside backs this season but he is likely to use Ioane's absence as a chance to re-introduce Seta Tamanivalu to the big stage.
Hansen is confident the in-form Ioane, who has starred on the left edge, will recover for the first northern test against France in Paris. Kane Hames has, meanwhile, recovered from the head knock which saw him leave the field in the first half in Brisbane but Patrick Tuipulotu is battling minor headaches.
"Rieko put the bone through but didn't break it so he went into hospital last night and had it washed out and stitched up," Hansen said. "He's now in a splint so it's a two-week injury and once it heals up he should be right for France. Everyone else is pretty good."
Reflecting on the frustrating nature of the first defeat to the Wallabies in eight tests, Hansen lamented aspects of the All Blacks game but, like captain Kieran Read, felt the result would drive improvement.
"Our kicking game wasn't smart and some of our decision-making was poor. They are things that can be fixed.
"You don't get over it very quickly. The thing that allows you to move on is the next game. We've got a wee while for that to come around and that's probably a good thing. Sometimes you lose and it hurts and that stays with you until you can remove that itch. We'll have to live with it and learn from it.
"We always knew we were going to have a tough year at some stage and this looks like the year. Rather than run away from that we'll embrace it."
Highlanders playmaker Lima Sopoaga endured a difficult night in his first test start for over two years. In challenging conditions the backline didn't click outside him and he threw an early intercept.
"There's no doubt Lima will be disappointed because he saw that as his big opportunity. That's probably the biggest lesson he's going to learn. Whilst it's an opportunity it's not a reason to change how you prepare. He probably entered into the contest over aroused and when he reflects back on what he's done in the jersey he'll be disappointed because it wasn't as fluent as he has been."
Victory over the All Blacks was sweet for a Wallabies side attempting to rebuild after a horror Super Rugby season in which Australian teams lost all 26 games to New Zealand opposition. Wallabies captain Michael Hooper spoke about the need to find some way to retain this momentum before facing the All Blacks again next year, and it is sure to lift trans-Tasman rivalry to another level.
"It will put people on notice that they're a good side. We've seen that in all three games we've played them. The Bledisloe next year is a long way away. Things will happen and change. They'll need to continue to get better and so will we."