Wallabies enforcer Ben McCalman will miss the June Test window with another fractured shoulder, but Western Force coach Dave Wessels is confident the long-running problem has finally been solved.
McCalman has fractured his right scapula four times over the past year, with the numerous setbacks putting his career in doubt.
The Force skipper hoped to return from his most-recent fracture in Friday night's Super Rugby clash with the Reds in Queensland.
However, those plans will be delayed by at least five weeks while McCalman undergoes a program that will hopefully solve the problem for good.
McCalman has seen numerous specialists to try to fix the issue.
And Wessels believes a specialist in Sydney has finally figured out why McCalman has been suffering repetitive fractures.
"The best explanation I've understood from the doctors is the first time it happens, your body kind of reacts - it knows there's an injury (to heal)," Wessels said.
"But if that happens a number of times, the body starts to treat that fracture as normal.
"So the body hasn't reacted and healed the fracture in the way we would have expected, because he's had a number of repeats there.
"So they've done a couple of different medical things to try to shore that up and get a different response.
"I think, for the first time, we've finally got on top of what's actually causing the injury.
"We're pretty confident about that. We're hoping after the Test break, he'll be good to go."
McCalman's slower-than-expected recovery means he'll miss the Wallabies' Tests against Fiji, Scotland and Italy.
But if all goes to plan, McCalman will make his Force return in the July 7 home clash with Melbourne.
It's been a frustrating season for McCalman, who missed the first six rounds with a dislocated thumb, before suffering a hairline fracture in his scapula on his return.
The Force have been bolstered by the return of veteran flanker Matt Hodgson against the Reds, while Michael Ruru will replace injured halfback Ian Prior (arm).
Peter Grant has recovered from a head knock in time to retain his place at five-eighth.
The Force's finals hopes were dealt a major blow in last week's 55-6 loss to the Highlanders in Perth.
Wessels was shocked at the extent of that loss, and said his players were desperate to make amends against the Reds.