The Australian rugby selectors may have to be creative when it comes to choosing their second row forwards for the tour of Japan and the United Kingdom after losing their most experienced lock.
Nathan Sharpe's booked in for shoulder surgery which could sideline him for three to six months.
The Western Force skipper suffered the injury in a Bledisloe Cup and Tri-Nations clash with the All Blacks in Sydney in late August.
His withdrawal leaves the Wallabies coach Robbie Deans dangerously low on experienced specialist locks.
James Horwill and Mark Chisholm played in the last three Tri Nations Tests with Dean Mumm on the bench.
Injuries had previously denied Deans and his fellow selectors a number of other potential contenders, including Test rookie Peter Kimlin of the ACT Brumbies.