New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter faces six weeks on the sidelines after suffering a shoulder injury in Saturday's win over South Africa.
The veteran was forced off just 15 minutes into the Rugby Championship clash at Eden Park following a thundering tackle from Bismarck du Plessis.
The Springboks hooker was sent off after the interval after picking up a second yellow card as the All Blacks ran out 29-15 winners, but they will now be without Carter for the rest of the competition.
Carter, who earned his 97th international cap in Wellington, will also miss the Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia, but he is expected to be fit in time to face France in Paris on November 9.
"Hopefully, we can get Dan on the plane to go to Paris," said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.
Carter was making only his third start of the year after previously being sidelined by a broken hand followed by a thigh injury.
Meanwhile, Hansen also admitted he felt du Plessis's challenge on Carter was legitimate, although he had no sympathy for the hooker when he was sent off after elbowing Liam Messam in the throat.
"Bismarck will be disappointed because probably the first one wasn't a yellow card, but what he did the second time was just dumb," Hansen said. "You can't elbow someone in the throat."