Welsh prop Adam Jones looks set to be ruled out of the game until Christmas after having an operation on his right shoulder on Monday.
The Ospreys tight head prop dislocated his shoulder in the second half of the second Test between the British & Irish Lions and the Springboks in Pretoria on 27 June in an incident at a ruck that saw Boks lock Bakkies Botha cited.
Botha was subsequently banned for two weeks for his dangerous charge, a suspension that the player appealed and the South African management bitterly opposed. When Botha's appeal was thrown out by the IRB judicial officer on Friday it led to the Springboks players wearing white arm bands with the word 'Injustice' on them in the third Test.
Meanwhile, Jones was back at home in Wales watching the action on TV instead of winning his third Lions cap. Now it looks as though he could miss the first half of next season.
"Adam is due to have surgery on Monday and he could be out for anything up to six months, which is very, very sad," said Lions head doctor, James Robson.
"If you dislocate a shoulder it means that something has to give. You can strain a capsule or you might tear a ligament. As I understand it, Adam has been scanned and they want to operate.
"His injury is in the middle range of the spectrum. The injury isn't as bad as it might have been, but he could be out for between three and six months - the key thing is how his recovery is managed after the operation."
If Jones is ruled out until Christmas then he will miss Wales' four Autumn internationals and will face a race against time to be fit for the 2010 RBS Six Nations championship.
"Adam had a scan at the Vale Clinic in Cardiff, which confirmed that he had torn ligaments in the shoulder in the process of the dislocation. In light of these findings he then saw a specialist who has recommended that the best management of the injury is to undergo surgery to repair the ligament damage," said Ospreys physio Chris Towers.
"We would expect excellent results from the surgery, however, we are looking at a timescale of around six months before Adam would be able to play rugby again."