The Highlanders have brought in utility back Trent Renata as an injury replacement for his Waikato team mate Declan O'Donnell after he was ruled out for the Super Rugby season.
O'Donnell has undergone shoulder surger which has ruled him out of Super Rugby for the year and All Black midfielder Tamati Ellison is expected to miss most of the season while he too recovers from shoulder surgery.
In a further blow for the Highlanders Manawatu flanker Doug Tietjens has been ruled out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon which he suffered playing a game of touch in Highlanders practice.
Tietjens missed most of last season with a knee which needed surgery.
As a result of Tietjens' injury the Highlanders have called in last season's Otago captain and loose forward Paul Grant on a temporary basis and a permanent replacement will be named later.
Twenty-four-year-old Renata made his debut for Waikato in 2007 and has played two Super Rugby matches for the Chiefs but for Otago he has scored 293 points in 54 games.
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph said that he is doing his best to remain philosophical about his pre-season casualty list.
"I'd be more worried if it was this time in February," he told Sportal.
The Highlanders have a stronger squad for the 2013 Super Rugby season and All Blacks Ma'a Nonu and Tony Woodcock and former All Black Brad Thorn will join the squad on Saturday.
The squad will then make 25km hike into the Greenstone Valley here they will hold a pre-Super Rugby season camp.