The All Blacks captain Richie McCaw will miss the opening rounds of the Super Rugby competition, after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot.
McCaw developed pain in his foot while doing a fitness test last week and a scan has confirmed the fracture.
He'll now have surgery to insert a small screw in the bone running down the outside of the foot to the little toe and is likely to miss the first six weeks of the competition.
McCaw says the timing is not ideal as he was feeling good about getting stuck into the Super Rugby competition but says with the World Cup at the end of the year it could have been worse.
Kieran Read will captain the Crusaders in McCaw's absence.