Wellington - All Blacks centre Conrad Smith will miss the third and final Test against England after breaking his thumb in the second Test win on the weekend, coach Steve Hansen said.
He said the in-form Smith would be sidelined for at least a month after being injured in the 28-27 victory in Dunedin.
"What we thought was only a muscle injury has turned out to be a broken bone for Conrad Smith in his thumb, so he won't be considered for Saturday unfortunately," Hansen told reporters.
"So it's bad luck for him and an opportunity for someone else."
Hansen said he was looking at either Ryan Crotty or Malakai Fekitoa to replace Smith in the third Test in Hamilton.
Crotty played the last of his five Tests against Ireland in November, while Fekitoa made his international debut off the bench in the first Test against England on June 7.
New Zealand lead the three-Test series 2-0.