Reds captain James Horwill's long-awaited return to action has again been delayed due to his ongoing battle with injury.
Horwill has not played for nine months after tearing a hamstring against the Brumbies last year.
The Wallabies lock was due to return in the Reds' final pre-season match with the Chiefs but was ruled out after injuring his ankle in training three days before the match.
He was then left out of the Brisbane-based franchise's squad for their opener against the Brumbies, as a precautionary measure, but Reds boss Ewen McKenzie has now revealed that his skipper would also be sidelined for this weekend's clash with the Waratahs.
"He's not quite ready yet so rather than mess around there we'll just continue on," he told AAP.
"The plan at the moment is he'll probably run the water for us this week so his return is not far away.
"It's the start of a long season and we don't feel it's the right time to run guys who are semi-fit."