Western Force captain Nathan Sharpe will miss approximately four to six weeks of pre-season training after undergoing laparoscopic surgery to repair a hernia.
The club said on Monday Sharpe and medical staff decided to have the stomach repairing procedure done last Saturday to give him every opportunity to be available for the start of the Super Rugby season.
"Nathan first brought it to our attention on Friday morning and we acted decisively to have him operated on Saturday," said coach Richard Graham.
"The length of recovery is between four to six weeks and in this case we believe we've given ourselves the best chance to have Nathan available for the first competition game against the Queensland Reds on February 20."
Sharpe was released from hospital on Monday to begin his recovery program and Graham was confident he would progress as planned.
"Nathan has just recorded a career-best body composition score and, under the guidance of our conditioning team, he was in fantastic condition.
"They'll ensure he comes back ready to go."
The Western Force will play trial matches starting in a fortnight.