Cape Town - Western Province coach John Dobson has described the Achilles injury to hooker Scarra Ntubeni as "devastating".
Ntubeni was stretchered off in the 12th minute of his side's 34-27 win over the Sharks at Newlands on Saturday.
It was later revealed that he had snapped his Achilles.
The 25-year-old now faces between 6-9 months on the sidelines and will undergo surgery on Wednesday.
Dobson confirmed that he had visited Ntubeni on Monday.
Listening to the coach speaking on Tuesday, it was clear that Ntubeni's injury was career-threatening.
"It's a devastating, devastating injury for Scarra," said Dobson.
"It's very painful, it's very hard to rehab ... at his age, it's a tough one to come back from and I'm really sad about that."
Ntubeni has had a history of injury worries in recent seasons with his calf giving him the most problems.
It completely ruined his 2015 and also hampered his preparations for 2016, but it seemed as though the likeable front-rower was finally over all of that.
Ntubeni has come so close to a Springbok cap twice - once in 2013 and once in 2016.
But he has fallen behind his Stormers team-mate Bongi Mbonambi in both the Super Rugby and the Springbok pecking order.
Now, with the Currie Cup in full swing and Mbonambi with the Boks, Ntubeni has been enjoying more game time and had been feeling like he was getting back to his best.
"It's one of the worst injuries I've come across ... not in terms of the actual injury but what it means to Scarra," Dobson continued.
"He's been through a really rough time with injury. I think his career is on that cusp. He's seen Bongi leapfrog him into Super Rugby and he'd just said that he was feeling so good about everything.
"He came to us last week and said that he was re-organising some things in his life because he really realises that this is his big opportunity in rugby and he wants to be a Springbok.
"He's such a good man and a good person ... good for the team and a quality individual. It's really sad."