The Brumbies have suffered a major blow with exciting young five-eighth Noah Lolesio all but ruled out for the rest of the Super Rugby AU season with a hamstring injury.
Picked in Wallabies coach Dave Rennie's players of national interest squad, Lolesio will be sidelined for eight weeks after scans revealed a high-grade tear.
The 20-year-old hobbled off after just 30 minutes of the Brumbies' 24-23 win over NSW Waratahs last Saturday night.
Even if the Brumbies make the three-team finals series, Lolesio isn't expected to return until mid-September.
The qualifying final takes place on September 12, with the title decider the following week.
"We're really disappointed for Noah. He had a good start to the year and was really enjoying his footy," Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said.
"We've got a very good medical team here who will make sure Noah gets the best possible treatment and rehabilitation to ensure he gets back out on the field as soon as possible.
"Whilst we are all disappointed for Noah we've got full confidence in Bayley Kuenzle and Reesjan Pasitoa to step in and fill that role."
Unbeaten in their opening two games, the Brumbies face Western Force at Leichhardt Oval in round four on Saturday night.