Skipper Gareth Thomas is out of Wales' bid to lift the RBS 6 Nations Championship after fracturing his thumb in the win over France on Saturday.
The 83-times capped full-back will have an operation on Monday to insert a plate and screws to mend the break, meaning he will miss the remaining championship clashes against Scotland, on March 13, and Ireland six days later.
The injury forced Thomas off at half-time so he missed his side's remarkable second-half comeback which saw Wales win 24-18 - their third win on the trot.
Thomas is set to be replaced as captain by number eight Michael Owen, who led the side after Thomas went off.
Wales were also assessing a knee injury to replacement hooker Robin McBryde, who played such a vital role in repelling France in the dying minutes in Paris.
After initial medical reports it appears McBryde will miss the Scotland clash.
"It looks as if Gareth will be out for a number of weeks with the fractured thumb,'' said Wales coach Mike Ruddock.
"It means that he will almost certainly miss Scotland and Ireland and that will be a real blow.
"We will miss him, he has been an inspiration for us and all the boys will want to win for him.
"With Gareth missing I would think Michael Owen will be our captain.
"He did a great job in the second half in France. He has been vice-captain all along throughout the championship.''
But though Wales are now unbeaten in three matches Ruddock is not taking their next challenge against Scotland in Murrayfield on Sunday week lightly.
''Scotland are building slowly although they haven't had the results they may have deserved,'' said Ruddock.
''They were unlucky to lose in France a couple of weeks ago, and only lost because of a charged down kick in the last two minutes.
''We have seen how different things are up in Scotland with the Celtic League play there. They are very difficult encounters.
''So it will be very difficult up there. I've got a lot of time for Matt Williams, the coach. We spent some time together at Leinster.
''He will be doing his homework and will be looking to spoil our party a little bit.''
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