Owen Franks' stop-start Super Rugby season has hit another judder-bar.
The Crusaders and All Blacks prop has been left out of the squad to play the Highlanders on Friday in Christchurch due to a shoulder injury.
Franks has played just once in the last month, clocking 40 minutes against the Brumbies last week.
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson says Franks will go for a scan and they'll take their time with him.
"He'll get a scan ... see how things are going with his shoulder," said Robertson. "And the best thing for him, we just realise that we'll take our time with our players because we've got the depth in the squad, something we're really fortunate to have.
"We're rolling and trusting our squad and it's really important that we've got as many bodies available by the end of the competition and by trusting the players now."
Fellow All Blacks Codie Taylor and George Bridge are also nursing minor injuries and weren't considered, while Sam Whitelock, Bryn Hall, Jack Goodhue and Brayden Ennor return to the side.
Despite missing some big names, Robertson said they were determined to pick their best team in what will be a tricky southern derby against the Highlanders.
"We've picked the best team for this week. We needed to. We know how desperate the Highlanders are, the position they're in and they've certainly mentioned how important this game is to them."
Meanwhile, Highlanders first-five Josh Ioane will start his first match since their round four loss to the Hurricanes last month, taking over from the injured Marty Banks.
Fullback Ben Smith will captain the side on his 150th Super Rugby match for the Highlanders, taking the armband duties from Luke Whitelock who has been ruled out due to a calf niggle.
Crusaders: David Havili, Braydon Ennor, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, Sevu Reece, Richie Mo'unga, Bryn Hall, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Sam Whitelock (captain), Scott Barrett, Michael Alaalatoa, Andrew Makalio, Joe Moody. Reserves: Ben Funnell, Harry Allan, Oliver Jager, Quinten Strange, Jordan Taufua, Mitchell Drummond, Mitchell Hunt, Will Jordan.
Highlanders: Ben Smith (captain), Matt Faddes, Rob Thompson, Teihorangi Walden, Tevita Li, Josh Ioane, Kayne Hammington, Elliot Dixon, James Lentjes, Shannon Frizell, Tom Franklin, Pari Pari Parkinson, Tyrel Lomax, Liam Coltman, Daniel Lienert-Brown. Reserves: Ash Dixon, Ayden Johnstone, Siate Tokolahi, Josh Dickson, Jackson Hemopo, Folau Fakatava, Bryn Gatland, Sio Tomkinson