Australia scrum-half Will Genia has been ruled out of the first two Tests of the upcoming series against Fiji and England with a knee injury.
Genia suffered strained medial ligaments during the Reds' Super 14 win against the Highlanders on Saturday.
The 22-year-old, who played on after sustaining the damage, is expected to be on the sidelines for four to six weeks.
He may be available for the second and final contest against England but there is a chance Genia will miss all four of the Wallabies' looming Tests, including the June 26 clash with Ireland.
"I've got three weeks before I start running so I take the brace off in seven days and then start walking around without it and then start running after three weeks and then hopefully after four of five weeks I'll be back playing," he said.
He added: "I'm disappointed but I thought it'd be out for a lot longer to tell you the truth.
"I thought I'd be out for a good six or seven weeks because when I was playing I got it strapped and the strapping did nothing and I was just wobbling everywhere.
"It was pretty painful to turn and sprint but adrenalin just got me through it."
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, who has overseen Genia's rapid rise to prominence in the national set-up, still hopes the Reds captain can play a part in the June contests.
"He's talking confidently and the injury's one that normally is not too sinister," Deans said.
"It's normally pretty straightforward and obviously Willie's a smart kid - he's going to do the right things and he's young, he'll be a good healer.
"So I don't think there'll be too many surprises but clearly the prognosis is such that it's going to impact on the domestic series.
"How much of that he gets to play, we can't be sure, because there's so much involved in that rehab."