Only likely to be available again in early April
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has had a screw succesfully inserted into his broken thumb and is expected to be back in action for the Crusaders in two months time.
The star openside flank hurt his thumb in the defeat to the Blues in Auckland on Saturday and went under the knife on Tuesday for what is known as a Bennett's fracture.
A Bennett fracture is a fracture of the base of the first metacarpal bone which extends into the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint. This intra-articular fracture is the most common type of fracture of the thumb, and is nearly always accompanied by some degree of subluxation or frank dislocation of the carpometacarpal joint.
His place in the starting line-up is likely to be taken by Matt Todd who has been impressive off the bench in the Crusaders' two matches so far this season.
The seven-time champions are yet to earn a single log point in their two matches - defeats to New Zealand rivals the Chiefs and the Blues - and they will be looking to get their campaign up and running when they face the Stormers this weekend.
McCaw is only likely to be available again in early April, the Crusaders have two byes in the time he is expected to be out of action, but also face tough matches against the likes of the Stormers, Hurricanes and Chiefs, whilst McCaw is expected to make his return against the Brumbies in Round 12.