JEROME Kaino's Super 15 season is over after the Blues announced today that the All Black loose forward will need surgery on his injured shoulder.
Kaino faces six months on the sidelines which rules him out of the Super 15 season and puts him in serious doubt of missing the inuagrural Rugby Championship.
The 28-year-old, who has played 85 matches for the Blues, received the injury in last Friday's loss to the Chiefs but continued to play thinking it would settle as he has had a recurring shoulder issue which he has managed successfully so far.
However this did not happen and subsequent investigations revealed a piece of bone had been knocked off the shoulder joint, the team announced today.
A shoulder specialist has advised surgery which Kaino will have on Wednesday and this will keep him out of rugby for approximately six months.
"I'm gutted. I really didn't think this was going to take me out of the whole Blues season. It certainly helped seeing the guys have a good win at Loftus in the weekend," said Kaino.
From South Africa, Blues coach Pat Lam said Kaino's season-ending injury is quite a shock.
"Jerome is a great player and brings a lot to the Blues on and off the field. This is a real blow for him and I know, like us, he is really disappointed that he won't be playing this season with the team. All of us wish him well for the surgery on Wednesday,"
Kaino was named player of the year at last year's Steinlager Rugby Awards after playing all but 55 seconds of the All Blacks' successful Rugby World Cup campaign. He was also nominated for the IRB's player of the year award.
His loss is a huge blow for the Blues who suffered defeat in their opening two games of the Super 15 season before capturing their first victory against the Bulls on Sunday morning.
The Blues beat the Bulls 29-23 at Loftus Versfeld, 20-year-old first-five Gareth Anscombe scoring all of his side's points in his first start.
Lam is waiting to hear of the sanction for wing Rene Ranger, who was cited for a dangerous tackle late in the match and could face a suspension.