New Zealand skipper Kieran Read is set to remain on the sidelines for up to six weeks following a fractured thumb that he sustained while playing for his club Crusaders.
The incident happened during the Super Rugby clash against Cheetahs where he was forced off the field in the 37th minute with the injury and was replaced by Peter Samu. Despite, the setback Crusaders went on to amass seven tries thereby winning the encounter by 21-38.
Read is expected to recover in time to lead New Zealand in the first Test against British and Irish Lions at Eden Park on 24th June.
This is the 31-year-old's second injury this year after a wrist surgery forced him to miss the first six rounds of the Super Rugby 2017 tournament.
Crusaders assistant coach Jason Ryan.described the news as "disappointing".
"It is extremely disappointing for Kieran and the All Blacks," said Crusaders assistant coach Jason Ryan.
"The guy has worked so hard off the field to get his hand right from the surgery he had during the off-season and has been world-class since returning to the field.
"Obviously it's disappointing and will be concerning for the All Blacks."
Read has made 97 appearances for New Zealand after making his debut in November 2008.