The Crusaders have confirmed that an x-ray revealed that Richie McCaw played with a broken rib against England for New Zealand.
It is believed the rib injury was sustained in the second Test and is likely to keep McCaw out of contention for the next three to four weeks; a bitter blow for the Cantabrians who are pushing for top spot on the Super Rugby table.
Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder said that while McCaw's presence will clearly be missed over the next few weeks, the team is fully focussed on the task at hand.
"We have three huge derby games left to go in this competition and we know that we will need to put our best foot forward every single week," said Blackadder.
"We never use player availability as an excuse to give less than 100 percent.
"We take pride in the depth that we have in this squad and we have confidence in our available players to do the task."
The Crusaders currently sit third on the Super Rugby table, two points behind the Waratahs in second and four points behind the Sharks in first (but with a game in hand).
The seven-time champs finish the regular season with matches against the Hurricanes (A), Blues (H) and Highlanders (H).
Blackadder also added that Dan Carter would not walk straight back into the starting XV following his sabbatical, given the impressive performances from Colin Slade in recent months.
"From a pretty poor start to getting our season back on track - so we've got a lot of faith in Sladey and the way that he's been doing his job," Blackadder told NewstalkZB.
"For Dan it's a lot of pressure to just throw him in the drivers seat straight away so we won't be doing that."