All Blacks captain Richie McCaw will be sidelined for up to eight weeks after suffering a broken thumb Friday in the second round of the Super 15 rugby tournament.
McCaw suffered the injury in the first half of the Crusaders' match against the Auckland-based Blues on Friday and took no part in the second half. The Christchurch-based Crusaders confirmed the injury Saturday and said it was not yet clear whether McCaw would have to undergo surgery.
The Crusaders lost the match 35-24 after being beaten 18-10 by the defending champion Chiefs in their opening match of the season. McCaw's injury has now dealt a new and heavy blow to the seven-time champions.
McCaw may not return before the Crusaders' round 12 match against the ACT Brumbies on May 3.