Star Western Force centre Kyle Godwin faces a battle to play again this Super Rugby season, while Wallabies winger Nick Cummins is in doubt for Saturday night’s crunch clash with the Blues due to a neck injury.
And the playing return of Luke Morahan has been pushed back with the winger suffering a slight setback in his recovery from a serious hamstring injury.
Godwin hasn’t played since injuring the posterior cruciate ligament in his knee against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on May 10.
The 21-year-old was initially scheduled to return this week, but is back in a knee brace after a slower-than-expected recovery.
Godwin is a chance to be back to full training within the next fortnight, but coach Michael Foley says he will be taking a cautious approach with the future Wallaby.
“At this stage of Kyle’s career, putting him on the field would be risking a more-serious knee injury,” Foley said on Friday.
“He’s not 100 per cent fit, and we’d prefer to wait a bit longer to make sure his knee is solid, and do all we can to make sure it doesn’t turn into something bigger.
“He’s in a brace. He’s doing a lot of things away from the team in more-controlled situations so that he doesn’t take a knock there.
“He’s got a lot of movement, but it’s just putting him in that uncontrolled circumstance and certain contact situations that might not happen for another week or two.”
Cummins is battling a neck injury he first sustained while playing for the Wallabies in their win over France three weeks ago.
Although Cummins managed to play out the Test series, the injury progressively worsened, with a final call on his fitness likely to be made on Saturday morning.
If Cummins is ruled out, utility Solomoni Rasolea will take his place on the wing.
“Nick ran around with the team yesterday, which was good to see. But he is sore,” Foley said.
“When you talk about necks and heads, you’re more conservative with your decisions.”
The Force have been bolstered by the return of scrumhalf Alby Mathewson (ankle), Ben McCalman (groin), Marcel Brache (ankle) and Hugh McMeniman (collarbone) for a game vital to their finals chances.
Two wins from their next three games should be enough for the Force to secure a maiden finals berth, while three wins is likely to land them a prized home final.
But Foley is taking nothing for granted as he prepares to take on a Blues team laden with All Black talent.