Sam Whitelock, Liam Squire, Sonny Bill Williams and Joe Moody will miss New Zealand's final game of the European tour against Italy next weekend following injuries.
Williams sustained an AC joint injury during the game against England and was ruled out of last Saturday's encounter against Ireland at Aviva Stadium. Initially, Hansen hoped for the 33-year-old to be available for the Test against Italy but eventually he lost the battle on fitness to mark an end to what has been an injury-plagued year for him.
Meanwhile, Moody suffered an eyelid injury leading to the game against England and will join the trio on their journey back home.
Whitelock has been handed a three-month rest period following niggles while Squire suffered a knee injury during their 16-9 defeat against Ireland.
“I know someone like Sam Whitelock, he is going to have a really good break and we will see a different player because of that,” said New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen.
New Zealand have an 100% winning record against Italy after beating them on all the 13 occasions until now. The two teams are also grouped in Pool B along with South Africa, Namibia and Repechage winner in the 2019 World Cup scheduled in Japan.