Wigan captain Sean O'Loughlin has been ruled out for 12 weeks after x-rays confirmed the forward broke his shoulder blade against Warrington.
O'Loughlin has been an ever-present during the 2008 Super League season, however his injury sustained late on in the Warriors' 38-14 win over the Wolves has come as a huge setback to the North West club.
Stand-off Trent Barrett is expected to take over as captain in O'Loughlin's absence, and Wigan head coach Brian Noble admits the 25-year-old's injury comes as a "big blow" to the club's title-winning hopes.
Noble said: "We are really disappointed we have lost the services of Sean for the next three months or so.
"It is a blow to both the club and the player. Sean has been in great form for us again this year and as club captain we will obviously miss him both as a player and as a leader."