All Whites captain Winston Reid has been ruled out of next month's Confederations Cup in Russia with a knee injury.
The 28-year-old, who has played 21 internationals for New Zealand, has a bone growth (calcification) in his left knee (outside joint) which has been causing him some pain for the past six weeks.
The injury has worsened in recent time and reached the stage where Reid was only training once a week and playing for West Ham United in England's Premier League.
Reid had an operation to remove the growth and calcification from his knee and it is expected his recovery will take up to three months.
"I've struggled with [the injury] for the last six weeks and it hasn't got any better, so it's just been about managing the load, really," said Reid from London.
"I've been training just the day before games and doing some bits and bobs in the gym, but I've got to get it sorted out. It's a really weird thing, a bit of extra bone that needed removing and it had been causing a lot of pain in that area every time I was running or kicking the ball. It's been a bit of a struggle for the last six weeks or so, so it's something that I had to get sorted.
"Obviously I'm really disappointed to be missing the Confederations Cup, but if I had gone there and played, it would not have got better. If the Confederations Cup was nine or 10 days away, I'd probably have given it a go, but the fact it is another month away and it's not getting any better made my decision. We gave it a try for three weeks with some different methods to see if it would react in a different way, but unfortunately it didn't, so I had to go in for an operation. It is what it is."
All Whites coach Anthony Hudson talked to Reid and said his skipper was devastated to miss the 'Tournament of Champions' in Russia from 19 June to 2 July.
"It is really disappointing news," said Hudson. "It is not only disappointing for us but it is disappointing for him. I could hear in his voice how much he wanted to come. He has been in touch leading up to this tournament for so long and had friends and family coming over. It was a tournament that our captain wanted to be a part of, but not only be a part of but to do something significant so I feel pretty bad for him."
The injury continues a frustrating run for world-class defender who has missed the last two FIFA internationals window for the All Whites through injury.
Hudson is hopeful that Reid will be fit again for the Intercontinental Playoff in November against the fifth-placed South American side, should the All Whites qualify for those matches.
"It is a pretty significant injury and I am hoping that if he gets this done then he will be back in time for our qualifiers when it really counts," he said.
Hudson is confident that he has the depth in his squad to still compete and beat some of the best teams in the world when they come up against Russia, Mexico and Portugal in Russia.
"I said when I started that we needed depth so if we lose one of our key players ahead of a big tournament or a qualifier it doesn't hurt us. We have lost our captain, however we have a very strong squad now and it doesn't change anything, what we are planning to do, how we are going to prepare, our mind-set, I'm very optimistic."
Striker Chris Wood will captain the All Whites in Reid's absence.
All Whites fixtures pre-FIFA Confederations Cup
2 June v Northern Ireland in Belfast, Northern Ireland (3 June NZT)
6 June v Cabinteely FC in Dublin, Republic of Ireland (7 June NZT)
12 June v Belarus in Minsk, Belarus (13 June NZT)
2017 FIFA Confederations Cup - All Whites draw
17 June 6pm (3am 18 June NZT) v Russia, Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg
21 June 9pm (6am 22 June NZT) v Mexico Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
24 June 6pm (3am 25 June NZT) v Portugal, Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg