WELLINGTON - Two-Test All Black Francis Saili will be sidelined for about a month after exacerbating a foot injury in the Blues' Super Rugby loss to the Highlanders.
Second five-eighth Saili was criticised by coach Sir John Kirwan for failing to disclose the injury to team medical staff members ahead of their season-opening game in Dunedin on Sunday.
The 23-year-old was one of the Blues' best performers in the 29-21 defeat, scoring a spectacular individual try, but Kirwan was unhappy to learn Saili had played in pain.
"It's positive what he's trying to do. I just think he's been doing some stuff outside of what he should have been doing and he's put some stress on it," Kirwan told reporters.
"I told him I'd smash his foot with a sledge hammer if it happens again."
Saili's return date will depend on the extent of the injury, which will need an x-ray to determine.
Early estimates are that he could be out for 3-6 weeks.