Star winger Marco Rojas has been ruled out of the All Whites' team to play Japan in Tokyo next Wednesday.
The 22-year-old has been battling a knee injury and had limited gametime for his German Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart.
Interim All Whites coach Neil Emblen is hoping to call in Crawley Town striker Rory Fallon as a replacement. Crawley are not obliged to release him with such short notice, however.
Emblen is already without the All Whites' two most recent captains, Winston Reid and Tommy Smith, who will remain in England with their clubs.
Goalkeeper Glen Moss will captain New Zealand in Tokyo.
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