New Zealand flanker Sam Cane will not be available for the autumn international against Ireland on 17 November because of a fractured bone in his neck.

Cane suffered the injury during Saturday's last-gasp victory over South Africa in Pretoria and will miss the All Blacks' season-ending tour to Japan and Europe - a series that includes games against Japan, England and Italy. 

"Sam has a small fracture in the lower part of his neck, on the right side through one of the joints. This will need to be stabilised with surgery," New Zealand doctor Tony Page said.

"We're confident he'll do well with the operation and then like with any fracture, it will probably take three months for the bone to get strong.

"The operation is to keep everything in the right pace so the bone can heal. Many sportsmen have this injury, as do people from other walks of life, and they usually make a good recovery."

Cane has accumulated 60 caps and has been New Zealand's first-choice openside since Richie McCaw's retirement after the 2015 World Cup.