The Golden Lions received a bulletin of good news on Thursday when it was revealed that star flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff may still feature this season.
The Lions were forced to entrust the No.10 jersey to 20-year-old rookie Jaco van der Walt for their second-round Currie Cup match against the Eastern Province Kings at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Van der Walt has been named as replacement for Boshoff, who was ruled out for up to 12 weeks after fracturing his right arm in last weekend's 41-13 victory over the Blue Bulls.
Lions coach Johan Ackermann said although Boshoff's injury was a major blow to their campaign, he could be back sooner than initially thought.
"He is a match winner on his own, he can drop-kick, place-kick, run and has a great off-load game - he is a quality player that was in great form and played with great confidence," Ackermann said at the team announcement in Johannesburg on Thursday.
"But the good news is that he might be back sooner than we thought maybe we can get him back if we make the play-offs."
Ackermann said Boshoff's injury was a golden opportunity for Van der Walt to make the step-up to senior rugby.
"This is an opportunity for Jaco van der Walt to get that exposure sooner than we had in mind but it is now time for him to grab that jersey and make it his," he said.
"He is a good kid, he's got the pedigree, what helped him was the fact that he didn't play Under-19 last year he jumped straight into Under-21 competition.
"That gave him a lot of confidence and we told him that with Elton Jantjies going he will get exposure at senior level."