Warren Gatland has revealed medics warned Stuart Hogg could have risked losing his sight if he suffered another bang on top of his cheek injury.

Scotland full-back Hogg will miss the rest of the British and Irish Lions tour after sustaining a “facial bone fracture” during Saturday’s 12-3 win over the Crusaders.

Hogg collided unwittingly with Conor Murray’s elbow as the Ireland scrum-half sought to let the Glasgow star launch a counter-attack in the first half of the Crusaders clash.

The Lions hope they will not need to call up a replacement, but head coach Gatland admitted they canvassed four specialists before ruling Hogg out of the rest of the New Zealand tour.

“It was just a freak accident,” Gatland told Sky Sports ahead of Tuesday’s Highlanders clash.

“He’s absolutely gutted. We’re feeling for him. We saw about four different specialists: one of them said he’d be alright and another said it’s potentially serious and that he could lose his sight if he plays. We told him it was only a game of rugby and he understood that.

“It we get through tonight without any injury, we think we’ve got enough cover at full-back. We’ll make a decision after tonight’s game.”

Hogg would have been one of the main backline talents Gatland could have expected to deliver the X-factor attacking play he has been seeking in New Zealand.

Ireland’s versatile backline operator Jared Payne wore the 15 shirt against the Highlanders, while Leigh Halfpenny ought to be favourite to start at full-back for the Test series.

England’s Elliot Daly and Wales’ Liam Williams can also operate at full-back, while speed king Anthony Watson showed up well in the role against the Crusaders after Hogg’s injury.

Hogg offered a good luck message to the Lions squad as he prepared to fly home to Scotland.

“I’m gutted to be leaving the Tour at this stage,” said Hogg.

“It is an honour to have been involved in a second British and Irish Lions tour and I have hugely enjoyed my time with the squad and I’m very excited about the potential of this group.

“I’m disappointed to be leaving in this way but wish all the squad the best in the coming weeks and will be cheering them on from home.”