Western Province flank Siya Kolisi will undergo two separate operations as he seeks to achieve full fitness by the end of the year.
Kolisi's chances of receiving a Springbok call-up and making his Test debut in Australasia were dashed when he suffered an injury to his right thumb in the Currie Cup clash with the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The thumb will require surgery which will rule him out of action for the next ten weeks, and Western Province coach Allister Coetzee said that the break represents the perfect opportunity for the hard-working loose forward to deal with a niggling shoulder complaint which has bothered him recently.
"From a positive point of view, he will also have his troublesome shoulder looked at, so he will be absolutely fine come the new season," said Coetzee.
The Western Province boss said that the injury could not have come at a worse time as it appeared that Kolisi was set to join the Springboks on their upcoming Rugby Championship tour of Australia and New Zealand after missing out on the trip to Argentina.
"He's clearly been earmarked for a Test spot, so you'd imagine it being a setback on a personal level for him.
"For us, he's virtually become a senior player overnight, so we will miss him - even if I don't know how long we would've held onto him in terms of Bok selection," he said.
Coetzee's ongoing loose forward woes continued with the news that Tyrone Holmes will not be available for selection for the clash with the Blue Bulls at Newlands this weekend due to an AC joint injury, and as a result Maties captain Helmut Lehmann, who was also the Western Province Under-21 captain last year, has joined the squad at training.
The WP coach has the option of moving captain Deon Fourie from the front row to the back - where he has played at times this season - plus lock Don Armand could also cover at loose forward where he played during the Super Rugby season.
There was some good news for Coetzee with utility forward Rynhardt Elstadt (groin) and Springbok prop Deon Carstens (broken nose) both back at training on Monday and eligible for selection on Saturday along with flyhalf Gary van Aswegen who has had two outings for the Maties to get him up to speed.
The Western Province coach said that although his side find themselves in fifth position on the log after two defeats from three matches, it is too early to start panicking, even though they are in for a stern test against the Blue Bulls this weekend.
"It's not do or die... by no means. I can't recall us having lost too many games at home on the trot, so we want to keep that record. The fact that we lost to the Sharks and the Lions doesn't mean that we've been hammered; in fact, we've made plenty of progress.
"We're aware of where we're going wrong - our discipline and individual errors - and we need to take our points-scoring chances," he said.
Coetzee said that he is well-aware of what the Blue Bulls are capable of, but added that he believes his team has the ability to handle them at Newlands.
"They're a good side. The North-South derby is always a big one and they'll no doubt take confidence from their win over the Sharks.
"We need to have clarity when we play - the players need to understand what the coaches want from them and I think we're getting closer to that," he said.