The All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has come out in support of the New Zealand and Chiefs first-five Aaron Cruden who appears set to miss this year's Rugby World Cup because of injury.
A scan yesterday confirmed that Cruden ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the Chiefs win over the Crusaders on Friday night.
The 26-year-old will see a surgeon tomorrow to arrange a knee reconstruction in the coming weeks.
The Chiefs say traditional reconstruction surgery has been deemed to be the most appropriate given Cruden's age and long-term career prospects.
The expected return to play time for this sort of surgery is six months.
Hansen says it's obviously hugely disappointing for Crudes and they will be supporting him as he goes through this tough time.
Hansen says he'll be a loss for the Chiefs and the All Blacks and they wish him all the best with his surgery and rehab over the next few months.
The All Blacks boss says as they know in the game of rugby, there are always going to be injuries and as selectors they plan for these unfortunate events and are constantly looking to build depth in all positions across the team.
Fortunetly the All Blacks have Dan Carter, Beauden Barrett and Colin Slade as first-fives to call on for the World Cup.