Highlanders loose forward Liam Squire is in doubt for the All Blacks June test series against France with his recovery from a broken thumb pushed back another six weeks.
Squire was hoping to join the Highlanders for their second game in South Africa next week after breaking his thumb in their win over the Crusaders five weeks ago.
However Highlanders assistant coach Mark Hammett said the 27-year-old has suffered a setback, which would rule him out until the All Blacks first test against France in Auckland on June 9 at the earliest.
""He had his cast taken off and under another scan it hadn't quite set how it was supposed to," Hammett said.
"Unfortunately, it had to be reset, and that effectively reset the start date, as well, so he won't be available for another six weeks, in June."
The Highlanders have six games remaining before Super Rugby takes a breaks for the June internationals, meaning the Tasman flanker will be light on game-time heading into the three-test series.
The Highlanders play the Bulls in Pretoria this weekend where the hosts will be without prop Pierre Schoeman, who's been suspended for six weeks for biting Melbourne forward Richard Hardwick during the Bulls loss to the Rebels last weekend.