Queensland Reds will again be without captain James Horwill at the weekend after boss Ewan McKenzie revealed the forward's return from injury would be delayed.
Horwill has not played for nine months after tearing his hamstring against the Brumbies in May last year and will not feature in Saturday's clash with the Waratahs.
The news will come as a bitter blow for the 2011 champions, who suffered a heavy 24-6 defeat in their opening game of the season against the Brumbies.
The Wallabies lock was left out of the game as a precautionary measure and McKenzie doesn't want to rush his skipper back.
He told AAP: "He's not quite ready yet so rather than mess around there we'll just continue on.
"The plan at the moment is he'll probably run the water for us this week so his return is not far away.
"It's the start of a long season and we don't feel it's the right time to run guys who are semi-fit."
Horwill was scheduled to return for the Red's final pre-season match with the Chiefs but after injuring his ankle in training three days before the match, was left out.
The Australian will be itching to get back into the action and regain full fitness for this summer's Lions Tour.