The All Blacks' 39-22 victory over a resolute Argentina has been soured by the likely loss of loosehead Joe Moody for the season.
With the world champions already down to their bare bones at tighthead, the 31-Test Moody suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder in the second half of his side's victory in New Plymouth on Saturday night and went to hospital for tests.
Should the worst be confirmed, Moody's season will be over, leaving veteran Wyatt Crockett as the sole All Blacks prop with experience at Test level.
Incumbent tighthead Owen Franks has already been scratched for the season with an achilles tendon problem and Charlie Faumuina has departed for France.
"It looks like he'll need operation so that'd be the end of the year for him, I'd say," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen told reporters.
The Chiefs-based Kane Hames is a near certainty to step into the breach at loosehead, while Blues player Pauliasi Manu is a potential squad replacement.
Moody's injury provides Hansen with yet another puzzle to solve, having watched his All Blacks again fail to play at their ruthless best in the Taranaki.
Despite scoring six tries to one and dominating the setpiece, New Zealand went into the break 16-15 behind and never truly dispatched Los Pumas.
Proceedings went further awry when Beauden Barrett was sin-binned in the 49th minute for repeated ruck infringements, only for bustling flanker Vaea Fifita - in his first Test start - to gallop over and trigger an All Blacks comeback.