The Cheetahs have been dealt a major blow with the news that Heinrich Brüssow will undergo shoulder surgery that will sideline him for six months.
The talented openside, who has battled a series of serious injuries throughout his short career, hurt his shoulder in the Currie Cup clash with the Griquas last week and scans have revealed that he will need surgery.
This means that Brüssow will be in a race against time to return to fitness before the start of the Super Rugby season next year, while it also leaves the Cheetahs desperately short on loose forward options for the rest of the Currie Cup.
Fellow Bok loose forward Hendro Scholtz - who came out of retirement to help the Free State side out - could also miss the Sharks game after receiving a hard knock to the head, while Philip van der Walt, Lappies Labuschagné and Davon Raubenheimer are the only available loose forwards.
This could see Francois Uys, who was utilised mainly as a lock recently, shift to flank with the young Carl Wegner coming in at lock.
The Cheetahs currently have quality loose forwards such as Springbok Juan Smith, Frans Viljoen, Lucas Floors, Johannes Prinsloo and Phillip van der Walt on the sideline.