Durban - Patrick Lambie has been ruled out for the rest of the Super Rugby season after being diagnosed with a torn biceps tendon, the Sharks revealed on Monday evening.
The Springbok back sustained the injury during Saturday's 23-19
loss to the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.
Lambie lasted just six minutes in Pretoria, before being replaced by Tim Swiel.
He will have surgery later this week and will be out for 'approximately six months', according to a statement from the Durban union.
Director of rugby Jake White said after the weekend loss he expected Lambie to be out for around five weeks, but scans on Monday revealed the worst for the Sharks.
The news will come as a massive blow for one of the competition favourites after they lost another key player, Pieter-Steph du Toit, for the rest of the year a few weeks ago Ä the young lock is out with a knee injury.
Meanwhile, scrumhalf Cobus Reinach also underwent the knife on Monday and will be out for up to eight weeks with a fractured hand.
The top-of-the-table Sharks play one of the form sides in the competition this weekend when they welcome the Waratahs to Durban on Saturday.