The wait goes on for Dan Carter's highly-anticipated Blues debut.
Carter took no part in a wet and windy Wednesday training session as the Blues prepared to host the Chiefs on Sunday at Eden Park in a match that threatens to define their season.
While Otere Black remains hopeful of recovering from the neck injury he suffered in the loss to the Hurricanes in Wellington last week, and other casualties in the Blues squad make positive progress, Carter's niggly calf strain will keep him sidelined for another week.
The 38-year-old's next chance to make his franchise debut will be the following Sunday, when the Blues travel to Dunedin to face the Highlanders.
Carter was originally named on the Blues bench last week, only to suffer the calf injury in the Thursday training session and be pulled from the squad with Matt Duffie taking his place in the 29-27 loss to the Hurricanes.
As the Blues attempt to correct their campaign following successive defeats, Black also took a minimal part in Wednesday's training with Beauden Barrett largely running the cutter from first five-eighth in his absence.
Black is, however, hopeful of taking his place against the Chiefs.
"The neck has had a couple of days to settle down now but it's still a little bit stiff. It's slowly getting better every day," Black told Newstalk ZB's Elliott Smith.
"It was just one of those things we both tried to get to the ball first and we collided towards the back of the lineout but lucky it was nothing serious.
"I wanted to carry on and keep playing but it was probably the best thing for the team - I don't think I would've lasted very long.
"It's still pretty early in the week so they've given me a couple more days to try to get it right. I'm doing what I can to make sure I don't push it too much in this part of the week but with the longer turnaround I can give it a bit more of a rest.
"I'll give myself every chance to play but if it's no good I won't push it."
This week the Blues will again be missing influential No 8 Hoskins Sotutu due to his ongoing knee injury and hooker James Parsons, who continues to battle concussion.
Loose forward Blake Gibson is, however, back in the mix after his Achilles issue, and there were encouraging signs with Tom Robinson taking part in fitness drills following knee surgery.
Sotutu and Robinson have been standouts for the Blues and the prospect of them returning for the back end of Super Rugby Aotearoa will lift hopes of a late-season surge.
Before then, though, the Blues need to address their performance last week that forced them to compete with 35 per cent possession and 31 per cent territory against the Hurricanes.
Missing 31 tackles and making 98 more than the opposition is not the blueprint to win any match.
Despite their dip in form, Rieko Ioane remains confident the Blues will rectify recent results.
"We've had a few slip-ups the last couple of weeks but the spirit's still there. Our motivation is we don't want to slip back to the old-school Blues team who can win some games but then slip off," Ioane said.
"Everyone knows we need to play better – that first half from us last week wasn't pretty at all and we're pretty disappointed with how we performed so we look forward to fixing that and getting it right on Sunday."