The Brumbies fear they could be without flying Wallabies winger Joe Tomane for the rest of their Super Rugby season due to a knee injury.
Tomane was getting more scans on Tuesday but coach Stephen Larkham said doctors had indicated there appeared to be “significant damage” to the knee.
Losing the elusive Tomane would be a huge blow to the Brumbies hopes of topping the Australian conference and making the playoffs, with Larkham declaring he’d been “on fire” and having his best season.
He suffered the injury during the 40-16 loss to the Crusaders on Sunday.
It was put to Larkham that Tomane was believed to have a grade 2 or 3 medial ligament tear which would rule him out for six to 10 weeks.
“It could be up to that long,” Larkham said.
“The scans will give us more information on that.”
Six weeks out would have Tomane returning in round 16 against the Blues in Auckland on July 8, while 10 weeks would take him up to the week of the competition’s final.
Wallabies and Brumbies captain Stephen Moore could also miss Saturday’s clash with defending champions the Highlanders in Invercargill as he battles to overcome bleeding in a calf muscle.
Larkham noted that travel wasn’t ideal for cork injuries.
The Brumbies have less time than usual to sort out their injury and replacement issues as they fly out to New Zealand on Wednesday.
They opted to spend their usual day off travelling because of the time needed to make all the flights and connections from Canberra to Sydney then Christchurch and on to resort city Queenstown, where they will base themselves before a bus trip to Invercargill on match day.