Matt Giteau could miss the Wallabies opening Vodacom Tri-Nations match against the All Blacks after dislocating a thumb.
Australia’s best-paid player picked up the injury in a comeback match for his club on Saturday.
X-rays showed Giteau’s thumb was not fractured but the damage still leaves him in doubt for the anticipated clash with the All Blacks at Christchurch on 8 July. He was expected to start on the wing in place of Clyde Rathbone, who picked up a hamstring strain against Ireland.
“Hopefully it’s not too bad. It’s just frustrating,” Giteau said.
Giteau’s injury is likely to be further assessed when he joins the Australian team at their training camp at Coffs Harbour, New South Wales on Sunday.
Coach John Connolly, who will name his squad on Tuesday, said Giteau would struggle to be fit.
“It’s a bit more bad luck for Matt, unfortunately,” he said. “We haven’t got all the results yet but will know more on Monday. Hopefully it won’t be too much of a setback for him but we are concerned he won’t be available for the All Blacks.”
Queensland’s Ben Tune is likely to join the Australian squad as cover.
Meanwhile, inside centre Mat Rogers is recovering well from an ankle injury and is likely to be fit to start in the Tri Nations opener.
Rogers trained fully with the Wallabies on Saturday and is thought to be over the injury sustained during Australia’s match against Ireland.