Wellington - All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore fears his rugby year could be over after dislocating a shoulder in Friday's Super 14 match between the Waratahs and Hurricanes in Sydney.
Hore returned to Wellington Saturday saying he would be seeking further assessment but the initial diagnosis was not good.
"It could be six weeks or six months and if it's six months the season's over," he said. "I won't know too much till I see a few more doctors."
Hore was injured early in the match which the Waratahs won 32-16 to go through to the Super 14 semi-finals.
He is certain to miss next month's home Tests against Ireland and Wales and if he is sidelined for six months he will be unavailable for the Tri-Nations series and the end-of-year northern hemisphere tour.
Hore's injury is likely to see veteran Keven Mealamu reinstated as Test hooker but with no clear back-up for a position in which Aled de Malmanche, Hika Elliot and Corey Flynn have all been tried in recent years without securing a regular role.