Scarra Ntubeni could miss the start of the Stormers' Super Rugby campaign through injury, according to reports.
Die Burger report that a calf injury means the highly-rated hooker is a doubt for their opening match with the Bulls at Newlands on February 27.
Ntubeni could in fact be out for even longer because of the issue, joining Damien de Allende on the sidelines.
The Stormers will turn to former Bulls hooker Bongi Mbonambi should Ntubeni be out for longer than initially expected.
2016 may prove to be a key season for Ntubeni's international aspirations given the departure of Bismarck du Plessis to Montpellier and with Schalk Brits still at Saracens and now 34 – two of the three hookers who were selected by Heyneke Meyer in South Africa's 31-man Rugby World Cup squad.