Josh Mann-Rea's rugby career could be over with the ACT Brumbies veteran suffering a suspected anterior cruciate ligament tear.
Mann-Rea left the park with a knee injury in the 61st minute of the Brumbies' stirring win over the Cape Town Stormers at Newlands Stadium on Saturday.
Brumbies chief executive Phil Thomson has confirmed Mann-Rea has suffered a suspected ACL tear in a devastating blow for the off-contract 38-year-old.
Back-up hooker Connal McInerney is flying to Argentina to join the Brumbies squad for their Super Rugby clash against the Jaguares at Jose Amalfitani Stadium on Sunday.
David Pocock has also been sent home from tour after failing to overcome a niggling calf injury ahead of the Jaguares clash.
The Brumbies will likely need to draft another hooker into the squad to fill the void with McInerney set to be elevated to the bench behind starting No. 2 Folau Fainga'a.
Mann-Rea's injury may spell the end of his Super Rugby career, one that has been lauded by many as one of the most remarkable the game has seen having risen from the coal mines to Wallabies gold.
Already off-contract at the end of the season, Mann-Rea faces an uphill battle to play Super Rugby again with the Brumbies boasting a young pair of hookers on the rise.
He has struggled to find consistent game time in recent years amidst a frustrating injury crisis which peaked when he tore his hamstring off the bone last year.
Fainga'a made the most of his opportunity when Mann-Rea was sidelined during that period to win a Wallabies jersey that had him far removed from the construction sites he was plucked from months prior.
The 23-year-old is now the frontrunner for the Wallabies' No. 2 jersey at the looming Rugby World Cup.
Mann-Rea's injury was the lone dampener on a stunning Brumbies victory over the Stormers that saw them eke out a two-point victory despite possessing just 30 per cent of the ball.
It was a win set up by the forwards, with Fainga'a, Scott Sio and Allan Ala'alatoa coming up trumps in a front-row battle against a Springbok-capped trio.
"They were outstanding. The forward pack were unbelievable in the scrum, lineout, maul, defence," Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said.
"I thought the forwards that started and the forwards that came off the bench were outstanding. It was just a really pleasing effort. We won the game off the back of our defence.
"We take an enormous amount of confidence out of it. We took a lot of confidence out of the Crusaders game despite the result, we took a lot of confidence out of last week at home against a quality [Johannesburg] Lions team.
"We've been to Argentina before and won, and that's the plan next week."
SUPER RUGBY ROUND 11
Sunday: Argentina Jaguares v ACT Brumbies at Jose Amalfitani Stadium, 7.40am (AEST). TV: Live on Fox Sports.