All Blacks veteran TJ Perenara ruptured his Achilles tendon in last weekend's draw with England, New Zealand coach Ian Foster confirmed Monday, leaving his half-back facing a race to be fit in time for next year's Rugby World Cup.
Perenara made his 80th Test appearance as a second-half replacement on Saturday, but had to be helped from the pitch just before the final whistle after England fought back to earn a 25-all draw at Twickenham.
"TJ has ruptured his Achilles - we're gutted for him," Foster told New Zealand media in London before the All Blacks flew home.
"He's innocuously gone to chase a kick and it's gone 'bang', which hurts."
Perenara, 30, had fought his way back into the New Zealand squad as backup to first-choice Aaron Smith and came off the bench for the All Blacks' final matches of 2022 in last week's win over Scotland and Saturday's draw.
Perenara is under pressure to be ready in time for the Rugby World Cup which kicks off in France next September.
On the sidelines, he joins Highlanders halfback Folau Fakatava who played in two Tests against Ireland last July before injuring knee ligaments.