South Africa centre Jan Serfontein will miss the Test series against Ireland this month and looks set to sit out the remainder of the Super Rugby season due to a wrist injury.
Serfontein is facing up to four months on the sidelines after a scan revealed the influential Bulls man sustained a scaphoid fracture.
"At this point in time it looks like Jan Serfontein could be unavailable for a while," said Springboks head coach Allister Coetzee.
"We're covered with what we have at the moment. We won't make any rash decisions. JP Pietersen can play there and Pat Lambie can play there.
"I'm not saying that's where we're going, but there is enough cover.
"Losing a player like Jan Serfontein is a bit of a setback. You would like to have your best players available, but is an opportunity for some other players."
Elton Jantjies and Lionel Mapoe have been passed fit for the first Test at Newlands a week on Saturday, while Pieter-Steph du Toit is expected to play some part in the three-match series.
Ireland have also been beset by injury problems, with Jonathan Sexton's enforced withdrawal on Thursday the latest in a series of fitness blows.