Wellington - All Blacks star Ardie Savea is to miss most of the 2020 Super Rugby season after announcing on Sunday he is to undergo surgery following an injury suffered in the World Cup semi-final loss to England.
He is the second marquee player to be missing from the Hurricanes after All Blacks fullback Beauden Barrett transferred to the Blues.
Savea, a finalist for the world player of the year, revealed the extent of the knee injury in an Instagram post when he said he could be sidelined for up to six months.
"Thought I'd let you guys know that I'll be getting surgery on my knee that I injured in the semifinal," Savea said.
"Unfortunately will be out for 5-6 months so will miss the majority of the Super Rugby season with my Canes brothers.
"Pretty guttered when I found out even though I thought I'd be sweet if something like this happened. I'm good now just been partying and relaxing and now will wait for surgery."
With the regular super rugby season finishing at the end of May, it means Savea is unlikely to be seen before the playoffs - if the Hurricanes qualify.
The bruising loose forward had been seen as a likely All Blacks replacement at number eight for Kieran Read who retired from international rugby after the World Cup.
However, a lack of game time may rule him out of the mid-year Tests against Wales and Scotland.