Cape Town - All Blacks hooker Dane Coles' chances of featuring in the British and Irish Lions series have been dealt a serious blow.
Coles was expected to return for the Hurricanes' Super Rugby clash with the Chiefs in Wellington next Friday.
But according to Canes' coach Chris Boyd, Coles is taking longer than expected to recover from his concussion symptoms and is a major doubt for the Kiwi derby.
This would make it difficult for All Blacks coach Steve Hansen to pick him for a one-off Test on June 16 against Samoa or for the first Test of the Lions series on June 24.
"I think it would be unlikely he's going to get through enough [work] before next week for him to come into contention for selection," Boyd told Stuff.
"I might be surprised when I get home, but the indications are at this stage that probably not.
"The problem with the concussion is we don't know how slowly or quickly those advances are going to be made.
"I was hopeful that Colesy would be playing by now, but at the end of the day his symptoms don't allow that to happen and so we'll just continue along that route until they do."