Brisbane - Wallaby lock James Horwill will be sidelined from rugby for nine months following a serious knee injury in the Reds' Super 14 win over the Crusaders, the Reds said on Saturday.
Scans have revealed that the Reds skipper will require surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation programme after he was helped from the field midway through the second half of the Reds' rousing 41-20 win in Brisbane.
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said while Horwill will have a lengthy spell on the sidelines his long-term prognosis was for a complete recovery.
"It's an injury that James will fully recover from, although it will take time," McKenzie said in a statement.
"While the rehabilitation period is a long one, the knee will be as good as new when he returns."
The injury news is a sombre post-script to one of the Reds' best team performances in recent seasons against the seven-time Super Rugby champions.
Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper established a new Reds' individual scoring record of 31 points with his two tries, three conversions and five penalty goals.
The Reds' next Super 14 match is against the Blues in Brisbane on February 27.