All Blacks back Damian McKenzie will likely miss this year's Rugby World Cup after scans revealed he has ruptured his ACL.
McKenzie left the field early during Saturday night's Super Rugby clash between the Chiefs and Blues, and the seriousness of the injury was confirmed today by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.
'He's done an ACL and looks to be out for eight to nine months which is a real shame for him," Hansen said.
"His World Cup opportunity's gone but he's still young enough to make probably the next two. It's just important he gets his knee right and takes the time to be able to come back and achieve the dreams that he wants to achieve."
"It's sad for him obviously. It creates another opportunity for someone else. We've got to expect injuries and there will be more than just him I'd say."
McKenzie was in visible discomfort as he walked from the field with help from medic and was sent for an MRI scan yesterday.
The news is a serious blow for the All Blacks, who had developed McKenzie into a backline utility and impact player off the bench with his skill and speed.
McKenzie was named as part of the 41-man squad for today's All Blacks foundation day in Wellington and was believed to be one of three first-fives heading to the World Cup alongside Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo'unga.