Anton Lienert-Brown has been ruled out of the All Blacks final test of the year against France in Paris this weekend.
The Chiefs midfielder started at second five-eighth in the 29-20 defeat to Ireland, leaving the field just before half time after suffering a partial dislocated shoulder injury.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster, after arriving in Paris, confirmed Lienert-Brown is in a sling and not in contention for the French test.
Foster is also sweating on Beauden Barrett's recovery after he took a head knock and failed his HIA 21 minutes into the Dublin defeat.
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The All Blacks have adopted a cautious approach to head knocks this year and with Barrett now needing to satisfy the independent concussion process, it seems unlikely he will feature this weekend which would hand Richie Mo'unga the chance to start at No 10.
Lienert-Brown's absence leaves Foster pondering another change in the midfield where he must decide whether to throw 22-year-old Quinn Tupaea into the biggest occasion of his career, having played six tests thus far in his rookie season, or back David Havili who continues to struggle to regain his early-season form.
Havili came off the bench to replace Lienert-Brown in Dublin but, other than delivering one skip ball that set Will Jordan away for his second half strike, he battled to make inroads in the face of rush defence.
"I'm comfortable with the options," Foster said. "We've been able to get through this tour really well from an injury perspective so it was disappointing to lose to players within that first half in the backs but that's life, that's test match rugby.
"Part of our job from a squad size is we've been able to build people and give opportunity so that when it's their turn to step up they know a little bit about it.
"Whoever gets in that midfield this weekend they'll be prepared and ready to go."