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All Blacks hooker Dane Coles will return home after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.
Coles fell awkwardly 13 minutes into the All Blacks' 38-18 win over France in Paris yesterday morning (NZ time) and eventually limped from the field 10 minutes later.
The All Blacks were initially hopeful his injury was not so serious, but the Hurricanes captain now requires surgery which will see him miss the majority of next year's Super Rugby season.
He faces a recovery time of four to six months.
It is a cruel blow for Coles after he missed four months earlier this year - a period which included the British and Irish Lions series - with concussion.
"It's disappointing for him but at the same time having recovered from the head knock an ACL is nothing really," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said. "He'll come back from that."
Coles will return home after the All Blacks match against the French XV in Lyon on Wednesday (NZ time), leaving Codie Taylor as the starting hooker.
Nathan Harris and Wellington rookie Asafo Aumua will provide support.
Lock Luke Romano is another concern with an inner ear cut and sore foot. Kieran Read was also pulled off with a minor groin complaint.