The Phoenix's star player Carlos Hernandez will be out of action for up to six weeks with a fractured wrist.
The Costa Rican international flew back to Wellington from Sydney where his team were preparing to play the Western Sydney Wanderers on Wednesday.
X-rays have revealed a fractured scaphoid bone in his left wrist, which will require surgery.
The operation is likely to take place in the next two days.
Hernandez, who is looking to book a place in the Costa Rica team for the World Cup, will miss friendly games against Chile and Korea at the end of January.
Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick says the injury came out of an innocuous challenge during Friday's 1-0 win over Melbourne Heart.
Merrick says the injury means changing the combination that has won the last two games, but he's confident he has the players to do the job.