Welsh star Tom Shanklin has been ruled out of action for 16 weeks with a shoulder injury, meaning he will miss the British and Irish Lions’ tour to South Africa.
Shanklin suffered the injury whilst playing for the Cardiff Blues against the Newport-Gwent Dragons on Wednesday night, falling awkwardly in a tackle.
The news will come as a further blow to Lions coach Ian McGeechan, who has already lost the services of Munster scrum-half Tomás O'Leary.
Shanklin will have to go undergo reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder, the Blues' official website confirmed on Thursday evening.
"I’m sure I can speak on behalf our the entire Blues family, indeed the entirety of Wales, when I offer our sympathies to Tom following his devastating shoulder injury suffered last night that will prevent him travelling with the Lions to South Africa this summer," said the club's CEO, Robert Norster.
"Tom and all our other Lions heading south have given their very best for the Blues and their country this season and such injuries hardly seem fitting or fair.
"Suffice to say Tom picked up the injury whilst giving his all for our team and we are all feeling for him at this difficult time of disappointment and frustration."