The Chiefs locking crisis has worsened with confirmation the team's fifth second rower Johan Bardoul will miss the rest of the Super Rugby season with injury.
Bardoul has ruptured the medial ligament in his right knee, suffering the same injury as his flatmate and fellow Chiefs lock Michael Allardice.
The injury occurred during the second placed Chiefs 34-20 victory over the Bulls in Rotorua on Friday night.
Bardoul, a loose forward who can cover lock, will be out for the remainder of the Super Rugby season.
He's expected to take up to eight weeks to recover.
The Chiefs pulled former All Black lock Ross Filipo out of professional retirement for the win over the Bulls and it now appears likely he'll remain with the squad for the rest of the season.
Thirty-six year old Filipo was in the Chiefs' squad last year, but this season is a player-coach for Hamilton Marist.
The Chiefs are now down to their 6th choice lock, with All Black Brodie Retallick, Matt Symons, Michael Fitzgerald, Allardice and now Bardoul all sidelined with injury.
The Chiefs are second in the overall standings with 44 points, 13 points behind the competition leading Hurricanes.