The Sharks' Super Rugby preparations have been hit by the news that South Africa international Pat Lambie is to miss three months of action after undergoing surgery on a dislocated right shoulder.
The fly-half was injured during Sharks' pre-season fixture against Top 14 giants Toulon this month.
The club subsequently released an injury update confirming the Springboks star went under the knife on Monday and will miss approximately 12 weeks.
Lambie's injury leaves him facing a race against time to be fit for South Africa's three-Test series against Ireland in June, with the Sprinboks already without Bulls fly-half Handre Pollard, who sustained a cruciate knee ligament injury last week.
The Sharks' pre-season tour has been blighted by injury problems, with three-cap South Africa forward Jacques Potgieter out for six to eight weeks with an ankle problem.
Ruan Botha (hip) and Francois Kleinhans (torn bicep) are also expected to miss almost three months of action, while Giant Mtyanda is out for three weeks with a fractured nose.
The Sharks start their Super Rugby campaign at Southern Kings on February 27.