Blues captain Jerome Kaino will be out of competition for the next three to four games due an AC joint injury from Saturday’s Reds v Blues game.
The number six received a direct blow over the joint while tackling Reds player Karmichael Hunt in the 59th minute.
Kaino was escorted off the field and team doctor Stephen Kara was able to assess the injury on Saturday. The AC joint will take three to four games to settle before Kaino can return to game time.
“It’s a matter of immobilising the shoulder for pain relief and resting until the pain from the trauma settles,” said Kara.
Blues coaches are confident that while it’s difficult to have the team captain out for a time, there are a number of strong loose forwards who are able to step in to his place.
“We’re fortunate to have a number of capable players in our forwards,” said coach Tana Umaga. “It’s never good to lose a player of Jerome’s calibre, but we’re more than comfortable with the options we have to cover for him.”
First five Piers Francis and loose forward Kara Pryor have returned from injury and are expected to play club rugby this week.