The Crusaders have suffered yet another loss in the front row with Joe Moody the latest All Black to be sidelined by injury.
The 30-year-old prop has been scratched from Sunday morning's Super Rugby clash with the Stormers in Cape Town after failing to overcome a knee injury he originally picked up against the Bulls last week.
Moody was forced from the field early in the second half of 45-13 win due to the injury and required stitches to heal the deep cut to his left knee.
As a result, Moody has been sent home to Christchurch early to heal with coach Scott Robertson saying he could be a "potential option" for next week's clash with the Blues at home.
Moody had enjoyed a strong start to the season with plenty of game time under his belt after an injury-riddled prior 18 months, starting nine of the Crusaders 11 games so far in 2019.
The loss is especially detrimental to the Crusaders with fellow All Blacks props Owen Franks and Tim Perry already on the sideline with shoulder and arm injuries, respectively.
It's also another concern for the All Blacks management to take note of with Ben Smith (hamstring), Dane Coles (calf), Sonny Bill Williams (knee) and Brodie Retallick (wrist) all out of action at the moment too.
Robertson said rookie prop George Bower will replace Moody, earning his first start as a Crusaders after three appearances off the bench so far this year.
"George is extremely excited. He's been exceptional ever since he came into the group. He's taken every opportunity. He can scrum, he's great around the field. He's a great pick up for us. Just works extremely hard, so we're excited to give him that opportunity," Robertson said.
The Crusaders play the Stormers at 3:15am NZT on Sunday.