Wales full-back Gareth Thomas has been ruled out of his side's opening Test against Argentina in June, although coach Mike Ruddock is hopeful he will still play a part on the tour.
Thomas, his country's record try-scorer, damaged his ankle during Wales' 42-0 win over the Barbarians at Bristol's Ashton Gate and it was feared he would miss the entire three-match tour as well as put his move to European Cup finalists Toulouse in jeopardy.
But Ruddock is confident the injury is not as serious as first thought.
"I feared the worst at first, like everyone else," said Ruddock.
"It is 99.9 percent certain Gareth will miss the first Test against Argentina, he could make the second one and hopefully be available for the third match against the Springboks.
"He will see our medical team a bit later, but he will definitely go on tour. Gareth has grown a lot under Steve Hansen and we need that experience and footballing ability that he brings. He is also vice-captain of the squad and a great role model for the younger players."
Thomas, who has officially signed for French side Toulouse, revealed he thought he had broken his ankle during the second-half incident where he twisted in a tackle involving replacement Baa-baas hooker Anton Oliver.
He said: "The first thing that went through my mind was panic because I thought I had broken my ankle and messed up the move to Toulouse by getting injured.
"I will have to wait and see what the physios say in the next couple of days with regards the tour.
"I want to get on the tour and play for my country because it is a big part of my career and I am hoping I can be fit in time.
"I was especially gutted to come off because I was enjoying the game so much.
"It was a great night against the Barbarians and superb start for Mike Ruddock, especially after everything that has gone on in the last few weeks in Welsh rugby and with the Celtic Warriors.
"It was a privilege to be part of a side that put in the type of performance we did."
Ruddock is already without 13 senior players because of injury and has put Llanelli Scarlets wing/full-back Garan Evans on standby.
Nevertheless, the former Newport Gwent Dragons coach is remaining optimistic that his young squad can deliver, particularly after their impressive showing against the Barbarians.
"I am happy we did the job we set out to do," he said.
"We worked on the principle of retaining the attacking shape we showed in the World Cup and the RBS 6 Nations, a licence to thrill if you like, and also try and put an edge into the side in defence and in our set-piece play.
"We knew we had the ability to score tries, but also Clive Griffiths our defence coach deserves a lot of credit for a nil score against, particularly because this is the first time we have used this new defensive pattern.
"Of course, nobody is getting carried away, but all the indicators I wanted to see were there which puts us in reasonable stead going to Argentina."
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