Highlanders left counting injuries

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Saturday's win over the Brumbies came at a cost for defending champions the Highlanders after a number of injuries.

Waisake Naholo is close to a return to full fitness but it's in the back row where the Highlanders will limp into Round 11.

Flanker Shane Christie and number eight Liam Squire will both be assessed this week, but should they be ruled out of next Saturday's contest against the Chiefs then the Highlanders will lose two of their hardest working players.

"The concerning one is Shane Christie, our captain, with a pulled hamstring," Joseph told Stuff.

"He's not the sort of guy to walk off, so that suggests he's probably done a good one.

"He walked off, he didn't limp off and he didn't get carried off, so that's not a bad sign. Maybe he was taking precautions [because] he didn't want to be in the same situation as last year."

Squire meanwhile is dealing with a shoulder knock, with Joseph adding: "He's a tough bugger, he wouldn't have walked off if he wasn't sore."

Liam Coltman (toe) and Rob Thompson (concussion) are other worries while Hayden Parker's season is over after rupturing his cruciate ligaments in training.

"He wasn't doing too much either, it was a bit like [All Black] Aaron Cruden's injury. He was just running along when his knee [went at] a funny angle," Joseph explained.

"He's going to have an operation and he'll be out of the rest of the season."