The Crusaders have confirmed that All Black captain Richie McCaw will not feature for the Christchurch based Super Rugby team in this week's match against the Highlanders.
Seven time champions the Crusaders lead the New Zealand Super Rugby conference and only need a bonus point to win the conference.
The Crusaders medical staff have opted to give the All Black captain an extra week for his ribs to recover.
He is however expected to be available next week if the Crusaders do progress to the play offs.
The Crusaders have also revealed that Sam Whitelock is an injury concern and his calf strain to be monitored before they name their team.
Dan Carter is a confirmed starter this week although it is possible that he could continue at No.12 where he played last week.
Israel Dagg has fully recovered from his knee injury and Kieran Read is likely to feature this week.