Australia flanker David Pocock has been dealt a blow after being ruled out of action for up to six weeks.
The 22-year-old, regarded as one of the world's finest openside flanker is a relative shoo-in to face the Lions in 2013 having established himself as one of the Wallabies leading lights.
But the Zimbabwean-born loose-forward limped out of Western Forces' Super Rugby defeat to the Sharks with a knee injury.
While scans have revealed the injury appears to be less serious than initially feared, Pocock still faces a lengthy period on the sidelines.
"It's disappointing to lose David as he is clearly one of the best players in his position in the world," said Force head coach Richard Graham.
"We're fortunate however that the diagnosis means a relatively short time out of action, it certainly could have been much worse.
"During the period David is unavailable we can look to the quality and depth we have in our back-row stocks with Richard Brown, Ben McCalman and Matt Hodgson giving an excellent balance to that area of the ground.
Pocock will have to wear a leg brace for three weeks as he begins his rehabilitation process.