Livewire outside back Rudi Wulf is the latest player to be ruled out for the rest of the season as the Blues’ horror run of injuries continues.
Wulf, who has been in fine individual form this season despite the Blues’ disappointing losses, initially injured his shoulder against the Chiefs way back in March.
After missing the trip to South Africa, he returned to duties to face the Sharks at Eden Park in round eight but reinjured it in his first game back.
He managed to carry on playing, but after feeling some discomfort in his shoulder he had a scan last week which revealed his earlier fracture had not healed.
“Rudi Wulf has been ruled out for the rest of the season,” Blues head coach Pat Lam announced at yesterday’s media session.
“He had a scan last week on his shoulder and the fracture that he had six to seven weeks ago hasn’t improved at all or healed so he’s having surgery on Wednesday. It’s a real blow for us.”
With David Raikuna, Benson Stanley, Isaia Toeava and Gareth Anscombe also out for the rest of the season, the back stocks have been all but exhausted for the Blues.
George Moala and Hadleigh Parkes are also in doubt for Saturday’s match against the Western Force, forcing Pat Lam to look outside his squad for replacements.
Just weeks after bringing in veteran first five-eighths Orene Ai’i, Lam has called on the services of Sevens star and promising Auckland player Charles Piutau to provide cover in the outside backs.
As the Blues had the bye last week, they have gone a month without a competition game. Lam said the team had been working hard to finish off the season on a high, putting in two solid weeks of training with breaks in the first and last week.
"We had a week off initially and then had two solid weeks where we did some pretty physical work and tidied up our game," Lam said.
"Then we gave them another week off, everyone's pretty refreshed and looking forward to our last game on Eden Park this season.
"We want to finish this well and to do that it's going to require us preparing well.
"So everyone's in good spirits and we're looking forward to the week ahead."
The Blues play the Western Force at Eden Park on Saturday night, kick-off 7.35pm.