Montpellier centre Wynand Olivier is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a triple fracture to his face.
The former Springbok, who has 37 Test caps, sustained the injury in an apparent training field accident.
"3 fractures in my face!! Not the ideal start to the year," tweeted Olivier on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old had his face stepped on, resulting in a two fractures to his cheekbone and another to his eye socket.
Further scans are required to determine for long he will be ruled out of action.
The ex-Bulls stalwart arrived in Montpellier at the start of the Top 14 season and has featured in 12 matches in the French league and four in the Heineken Cup.
He signed a one-year contract extension, with an option for another year, in December.