Reds fly-half Quade Cooper faces a 16-week recovery after MRI scans today confirmed he requires surgery to heal an AC joint injury suffered against the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday.
Cooper will undergo surgery on his shoulder tomorrow to repair a Grade 3 AC joint injury in his left shoulder after he fell on it awkwardly in a tackle.
The fly-half will use the lengthy recovery window to also undergo arthroscopic surgery to clean up loose cartilage in his hip - a maintenance job that required a break in his playing schedule before it could be fixed.
The recovery time for the shoulder operation is 16 weeks, while recovery for the hip surgery will take 12 weeks, meaning it can be slotted in while he is rehabilitating his shoulder. Cooper should be back to full health in mid-September.
Reds head coach Richard Graham reiterated how disappointing the news was for the team and for Quade.
"Quade is obviously disappointed to miss the rest of the season, but he knows these two operations will bring him back to full health," said Graham.
"This isn't the first injury setback Quade has had in his career and he showed with his knee rehabilitation just how determined and resilient he is. I know he will take just as much enthusiasm and drive into this rehabilitation.
"A player of Quade's ability rarely has extended breaks from the game, so if there is a silver lining to this injury layoff it is that this will allow him time to refresh and repair his body in preparation for the 2015 season."
The news will leave Ewen McKenzie with Matt Toomua and Bernard Foley as his options at fly-half.