Exeter Chiefs have been dealt an untimely blow ahead of today's Aviva Premiership clash at London Wasps with the news that Brett Sturgess will be sidelined for the remainder of the season.
The experienced loosehead prop sustained a complex knee injury during the final minute of last weekend's 22-6 defeat to Harlequins in Big Game 6 at Twickenham Stadium.
Clearly in pain, the 32-year-old forward had to be carted from the field straight into the medical centre at English Rugby HQ.
Having been initially assessed by the Chiefs and medical personnel at Twickenham, Sturgess underwent a scan back in Devon earlier this week the results of which have not proved favourable.
"The news isn't great on Sturge and sadly he is going to be ruled out for the remainder of the season with a serious knee injury," said Exeter boss Rob Baxter.
"Obviously it's a cruel blow not only for Brett, but also the club as well.
"He is not only a senior and talented member of the squad, but also hugely popular and his absence will certainly be felt within the group.
"Thankfully he's in very good hands with our medical team who, I know, will get to grips with his injury and look to get him back to full fitness."
With Sturgess ruled out of contention, Carl Rimmer comes onto the bench for Sunday's game against London Wasps, whilst Ben Moon continues to pack down in the number one jersey.