The Brumbies will be without Christian Lealiifano as they kick off their 2014 Super Rugby season with the Wallabies centre expected to be sidelined for three months following ankle surgery.
Lealiifano isn't expected to be available until at least March after undergoing surgery on Wednesday in Canberra.
The Brumbies playmaker had some bone, scar tissue and a plate removed that had been inserted when he dislocated his right ankle last year.
The injury affected the goal-kicking star's training during the Wallabies' recent European tour.
Lealiifano's likely replacement as the Brumbies' inside-centre, Pat McCabe, also needs a medical clearance as he waits to see if he will be ready to return from a broken neck.
McCabe suffered the injury against the British and Irish Lions in June.
The Brumbies play their first trial match against the Highlanders in Queenstown on Jan 31, and open their season against Queensland Reds on Feb 22.