David Pocock will miss the remainder of the Rugby Championship with a broken hand.
Pocock came off in the 35th minute of Australia’s 36-20 win over Argentina on Saturday night with the injury and was sent for scans on Saturday night.
Those scans confirmed the break, ruling him out of the Wallabies’ final two Rugby Championship Tests, against South Africa in Pretoria and Argentina in London.
The 28-year-old tried to play the game out with the injury but Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said they had to keep him off.
“It was quite swollen, so it was hard for him to move his hand,” Cheika told the official Australian Rugby website.
“He wanted to play through but I had to take him off.
“Definitely wanted to play it through.”
The hand injury is the latest in a series of poor fortune for Pocock whose career has been littered with injuries, including two consecutive knee reconstructions, ankle and calf concerns and a fractured eyesocket.
Pocock is a chance to line up for the Wallabies in the third Bledisloe Test in October.
Saturday’s Test was Pocock’s last match on home soil ahead of a 2017 sabbatical from the game.
Rebels flanker Sean McMahon replaced him against the Pumas, showing a return to some of the intimidating form he displayed in Super Rugby.
Cheika praised McMahon for his efforts off the pine in Perth.
“Sean McMahon was outstanding with a couple of carries, which got us on the front foot.
“And that’s their role within the team, so once everyone knows their job really clearly and they go out and do it, it makes for a much better flow in the game for us.”
He and Rebels teammate Lopeti Timani shape as the most likely successors for Pocock’s spot.