Ospreys full-back Hanno Dirksen is facing six months out after undergoing knee surgery.
The South African flyer is set to undergo surgery to repair cartilage in his right knee, with a rehabilitation period of around six months expected.
"We've spoken to several specialists and the view is it is in Hanno's best interests to have the surgery now," said Ospreys physio Chris Towers.
"We've taken a long term view on what is best for Hanno's career.
"At this stage we are probably looking at a post-op rehab process of around five to six months, it's not something we can rush."
Dirksen has been marked down as a long-term prospect for Wales, given that he will qualify to play for his adopted country in 2014.
The 21-year old initially joined the club when he was on a student visa, but was signed full-time in January 2011 and has gone on to score 14 tries so far in 42 appearances.