Montpellier hooker Bismarck du Plessis will be sidelined for between six to eight weeks after undergoing neck surgery.
The French club already has a lengthy injury list that includes South Africans Frans Steyn, Johan Goosen, Henry Immelman and Jacques du Plessis.
Bismarck du Plessis, who had surgery on a cervical disc herniation, will be replaced by either Vincent Guidicelli or Romain Ruffenach.
Montpellier are seventh on the French Top 14 log, nine points behind leaders Clermont. They will host Racing 92 on Sunday.
Photo: Sylvain Thomas/AFP