Damian McKenzie's red-card tackle against the Queensland Reds leaves the talented playmaker in danger of missing the opening test of the 2021 All Blacks season.
The Chiefs No.10 was marched on Saturday night for a dangerous tackle on Reds halfback Tate McDermott in the 22nd minute of their 40-34 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman loss in Townsville.
McKenzie's shoulder made direct contact with the chin of McDermott, leaving referee Nick Berry no choice but to march the 26-year-old.
A maximum six-week suspension could be issued, although McKenzie's clean record should see that reduced to three.
That will scratch him from the final two Chiefs fixtures of Super Rugby against the Melbourne Rebels and Waratahs.
With a spot in the final almost out of reach, McKenzie could miss the opening test of the year against Tonga on July 3 at Mt Smart Stadium.
But McKenzie's University club side are scheduled to play the same weekend as the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman final, so the All Blacks and McKenzie could find a loophole that will allow him to be selected for the historic Tongan clash.