Chiefs halfback Brendon Leonard looks set to miss the start of the 2013 Super Rugby season as he injured his cheekbone playing in a Super Rugby trial match.
Former All Black Leonard played in the Chiefs Super Rugby pre-season match against the Highlanders last weekend.
The No.9 is believed to have fractured his cheekbone and the initial diagnosis suggests that he will miss the next four to six weeks.
The injury will therefore keep him out of Super Rugby with the Chiefs for at least the first two matches this year.
Leonard played his last All Black Test match in 2009 but has been troubled by several injuries in recent seasons and this has prevented him from adding to his 13 Test caps.
In 2012 Leonard was largely used off the bench after he fell behind Tawera Kerr-Barlow in the selection order.
The Chiefs medical team are still assessing whether there are other players who will miss the Chiefs second pre-season match which is this Friday on the Sunshine Coast against the Reds.
Chiefs medical staff are which other players won't be fit to cross the Tasman for Friday's pre-season match against a strong Reds outfit on the Sunshine Coast as some players picked up some niggles.
Winger Lelia Masaga missed the 36-14 win over the Highlanders in Taupo on Saturday due to a knee complaint.
Captain Craig Clarke said that he wants the Chiefs to improve their cleanout and scrum work this week but said that he was otherwise content with their performance.
"We're pretty happy to have a scoreline like that against the Highlanders, pre-season or not," he told NZ Newswire.
"In saying that, we're pretty realistic about it all. They travelled up on the day and had a lot of their guys missing."
Clarke said that he believes the Chiefs take a more intense approach to Super Rugby pre-season games than some teams as it is a valuable learning period.
"We try to play at a pretty high standard. It's not full intensity but you want to be pretty close so guys who haven't played that level of footy can actually experience something close enough to the standard of a comp game."