The Reds have been dealt a devastating injury blow, with star winger Izaia Perese sidelined until early April after partially tearing the ACL in his right knee.
RUGBY.com.au can reveal Perese suffered the injury late in Queensland's clash with Fiji Warriors last Thursday, with ensuing scans confirming Queensland's fears.
The Reds confirmed Perese will be sidelined for six weeks as a result.
The best case scenario for his return is a round eight clash with the Brumbies - the same match George Smith is targeting as he recovers from a back injury.That will keep him out of the team's first five matches, including their tour of Argentina and South Africa.
It is a significant hit to the Reds' Super Rugby campaign with Perese one of Queensland's stars through the preseason.
His electric feet carved opponents up at the Brisbane Tens and did the same against Fiji, scoring the match-winning try after slicing the opposition line and making several big hits throughout the match.
Though his absence will be keenly felt, the Reds will be taking every precaution with Perese's rehab, to ensure he returns at 100 per cent.
He spent the large majority of the Wallabies' 2017 season in Michael Cheika's squad and while he couldn't crack a Test debut, another standout year would only have helped his cause.
Filipo Daugunu would be the leading candidate to fill the hole left by Perese on the left wing against the Rebels, with Eto Nabuli still nursing a wrist injury.
Lachlan Maranta could also be a possible replacement.
The Reds take on the Rebels at AAMI Park on Friday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.