Ma'a Nonu out for rest of season after surgery on broken arm
Last Updated: 14/09/14 3:15pm
New Zealand will be without centre Ma'a Nonu for the rest of the season after he broke his arm against South Africa on Saturday.
Nonu suffered the injury in the first half of the Test at Wellington and, although he played on, he didn't return after half-time in a match which the All Blacks went on to win 14-10.
He will miss New Zealand's remaining Rugby Championships matches against Argentina in La Plata on September 27 and South Africa in Johannesburg on October 5 as well as their November tour to the United States and Britain.
Malakai Fekitoa and Ryan Crotty, who played in Nonu's place in the All Blacks' 51-20 win over Australia last month, are the most likely replacements in Steve Hansen's midfield.
"Ma'a has just come out of having an operation on his arm," Hansen said. "It's broken."
"He's got a plate in it. That will be his season and he will be back for the Hurricanes (in Super Rugby next year)."
Ben Smith moved into midfield to replace Nonu and admitted he was gutted for the 32-year-old, who was playing in front of his home fans in New Zealand's capital city.
"He said to me immediately after it happened he thought he'd broken his forearm," Smith said. "I was probably aware of our shortage on the bench and said 'you'll be right'.
"It was pretty obvious from then on. I thought it was longer than 10 minutes (that Nonu played with the injury). You can tell when you've played with someone quite a lot when they're not quite right. I wasn't surprised at half-time when the doctor had a look at it and took him off."