Reds prop Greg Holmes will be sidelined for up to nine weeks, after tearing a ligament in his left thumb while lifting in a lineout drill earlier this week.
Holmes was recovering from a shoulder injury suffered during the National Rugby Championship and was expected to make his return in the Reds pre-season match against the Crusaders, but instead had surgery to repair the ligament on Friday.
Reds head coach Richard Graham was disappointed to lose a veteran of 121 games, but said it would provide some of Queensland’s young props an opportunity to further develop.
“Whilst it’s always disappointing to lose a player of Greg’s experience, the young front row were outstanding in our pre-season match against the Rebels last night and provide us with a lot of confidence entering the season,” said Graham.
“Sam Talakai and Sef Faagase performed well for Brisbane City in the National Rugby Championship and will continue to develop on the back of a strong performance in Cairns last night.”
The Reds face the Crusaders at Ballymore this Friday and Graham said it is likely they will see the return of injured players Ben Daley, Ed O’Donoghue and James O’Connor and the introduction of All Blacks loose forward Adam Thomson.