Western Province will be without captain Juan De Jongh for eight to ten weeks after he suffered a grade two medial collateral knee ligament tear in their narrow win over the Cheetahs on Saturday.
WP managed to pull through with a 9-3 win at a wet Newlands stadium, but the injury to the Springbok centre puts him in a race against time to be fit for the Currie Cup play-offs during the second half of October.
"To lose one’s captain is always a blow, but to lose someone of Juan’s ability and standing within the team is obviously disappointing for us," said WP coach John Dobson.
"We are fortunate to have a lot of options at centre, but a guy like Juan will leave a big hole given his experience and defensive abilities," added Dobson.
Although this is a big loss for WP it will give their newly-appointed leader Nizaam Carr another chance to show his worth as captain.
Carr led the Stormers earlier this year when he made history by becoming the first Muslim captain in Super Rugby.
"Nizaam is a local lad, who has played all of his rugby for Western Province and this is a great opportunity for him," Dobson said.
"He was one of our better players in the tough weather conditions at the weekend and has been a leader within the squad for some time now, and I look forward to seeing him bring the best out of those around him."
Carr said it was a "massive honour" to be named captain.
"We have a lot of leaders within our young playing group and there isn’t much for me to change, given what Juan has put in place, so I will just go about my business as usual with a few added responsibilities," he said.
Western Province take on their old foes, the Bulls in the third round of the Currie Cup this Saturday in what should be another immense North versus South derby.