South Africa captain Warren Whiteley faces up to two months on the sidelines with a pelvis injury, ruling him out of the rest of the Super Rugby season and possibly the opening matches of the Rugby Championship, his team said on Tuesday.
Whiteley was appointed Springbok captain for the three-Test tour by France this month and looked an inspired choice as South Africa won the first two Tests in convincing fashion.
However, he was hurt in the build up to the third Test and had to pull out of the team on the eve of last Saturday's victory in Johannesburg.
The injury, sustained in line out practice with the Boks, has now been confirmed as torn ligaments in the pelvis.
"We expect to rehabilitate him in six to eight weeks," Lions team doctor Rob Collins told reporters.
It will come as a serious blow to the Lions' hopes of Super Rugby success as they are well on course for next month's quarter-finals.
The 29-year-old Whiteley could also miss the start of the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship in August.
South Africa start with two Tests against Argentina, followed by matches against Australia and world champions New Zealand.
The Qantas Wallabies take on the Springboks at nib Stadium in Perth during the 2017 The Rugby Championship. Tickets available here.