The All Blacks captain Kieran Read will miss the start of next year's Super Rugby competition as he recovers from back surgery.
Read sat out the All Blacks' final game of the year against Wales last month due to the back injury.
The 32-year-old said on social media that he'll undergo surgery this Saturday and will miss the start of the Super Rugby season.
The expected recovery time for such injuries is four months.
The Crusaders' first game of the season is against the Chiefs in late February.