The Ospreys injury woes simply go on and on - Hanno Dirksen the latest to be ruled out ahead of their huge back-to-back Heineken Cup Pool 2 clashes with four-times European champions Toulouse next month.
The South African-born wing will undergo knee surgery this weekend to repair a cartilage problem in his right knee that will rule him out of action for up to six months.
He signed for the Ospreys in January 2011 and has scored 14 tries in 42 appearances for the region. He played in both of the Ospreys' Heineken Cup matches earlier this season, scoring two tries against Benetton Treviso.
Ospreys Head Physio, Chris Towers, said: "We've spoken to several specialists and the view is that it is in Hanno's best interests to have the surgery now. We've taken a long term view on what is best for Hanno's career moving forward.
"At this stage we are probably looking at a post-op rehab process of around five to six months, it's not something we can rush."
Hanno's injury comes on top of those suffered by Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Richard Hibbard and Dan Biggar.
Hanno, the 21-year-old who spent his teenage years in the United States after moving from South Africa, will qualify for Wales in 2014.
Dirksen hails from Krugersdorp in the Gauteng province of South Africa and moved to Nashville with his family in 2006 while still a teenager.
He represented the USA at age grade level and became the youngest player to represent the Eagles at senior level when he featured in the non-capped match against Munster in Connecticut in August 2008.
Finals Edition: Listen to the best guide to the European Rugby Cup Finals weekend in Dublin, which sees Leinster Rugby take on Stade Francais Paris at the RDS on Friday night in the Amlin Challenge Cup Final and then ASM Clermont Auvergne tackle Toulon in an all-French affair at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
With the build-up to the Dublin 2013 European club rugby finals intensifying by the day, the four elite clubs of ASM Clermont Auvergne, Toulon, Leinster Rugby and Stade Francais Paris, who are focused on their quest for Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup silverware respectively, won't be the only clubs with Europe on their mind over the weekend of 17 and 18 May.
With eight leading clubs still in the race for coveted Dublin 2013 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup final berths, this weekend's European semi-finals will be watched keenly by Bath Rugby, Connacht Rugby and London Wasps among others as their hopes of qualification for the 2013/14 Heineken Cup hang in the balance.
Stade Français Paris scrum half, Jérôme Fillol (No 9), has been suspended for fourteen (14) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final match against Bath Rugby.
Read all three hearing decisions here..
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