Aaron Mauger will depart for New Zealand today after injury ruled him out of the Wales Test on Saturday.
Allblacks.com reported that the team’s medical staff confirmed that the centre had torn the lateral cartilage in his right knee and will most likely undergo arthroscopic surgery once he is back in Christchurch.
The injury was sustained in the Test against England three weeks ago but was not thought to be serious. Mauger then aggravated it during training last Thursday in Paris.
Coach Graham Henry said Mauger was a certainty for the Cardiff Test if he had recovered in time and hinted that he was considering resting Dan Carter and playing Mauger at flyhalf.
Surgery will keep the 38-cap player sidelined for 4-6 weeks. The All Blacks will not call up a replacement and are likely to play either Luke McAlister or Ma’a Nonu at No 12.