The Stormers were dealt a cruel blow on Monday when it was revealed that captain Schalk Burger will be sidelined for longer than expected.
Burger, who damaged medial knee ligaments in last Saturday's 39-26 win over the Hurricanes, will miss at least the next six of action - maybe more.
The Stormers loose forward, who was taken from the field in agony, visited a specialist on Monday.
Coach Allister Coetzee, who initially suggested Burger would be back in four to six weeks, told a media gathering that no surgery will be required.
"However, we'll treat him conservatively," Coetzee said.
"His knee will be in a brace and we think at this stage it will be at least six weeks before he sees any action again."
It is hoped that Burger will be back on the playing field in Round Eight, when the men from Cape Town will tackle the seven-time champion Crusaders on April 14.
However, a more realistic return date is when the Stormers return from Australasia in May.
There is also still a measure of uncertainty that the Stormers' enforcer Rynhardt Elstadt will play and tests will continue this week before Coetzee makes a call on his availability for the clash against the Sharks on Saturday.
"We're just looking to see how he's going in contact situations and in the light sessions he's done okay," said Coetzee.
"The important thing is that we manage players properly. It's going to be a tough encounter and we'll see how he goes in training this week."
Springboks Andries Bekker (lock) and Jean de Villiers (centre) have injury niggles after the weekend match and were rested from training on Monday.
Both players will be available for selection this week.
The good news for the Stormers is that Springbok Juan de Jongh will be unleashed against the Sharks at Newlands on Saturday.
Coetzee revealed that the centre, De Jongh, who has had a long lay-off due to injury, will be included in the match-day 22.
"Juan has been cleared to play and he's excited about returning to the game," said Coetzee.
"He will be considered for the starting line-up and since he's a Springbok he has lots to offer.
"Bryan Habana might have wanted another outing or two at outside centre, but we'll do what's best for the Stormers."
Habana played in the midfield in De Jongh's absence.
Coetzee said he was pleased with the performance of the Stormers' rookies against Hurricanes at Newlands at the weekend.
"I asked the young players to swim and I'm pleased to say they coped well," said Coetzee.
"They are not there yet but I'm looking for a big improvement with every outing. It won't be easy to play Super Rugby against experienced players and they know they still have a way to go before they're a final product."
Coetzee said the target on Saturday will be to improve on the side's match winning performance against the Hurricanes.
"On Saturday it will be all about showing allround improvement," said Coetzee.
"I wasn't happy with the way we managed to get out of our half because I felt that we should have been more clinical. Our finishing wasn't what it should have been and that cost us a few tries."
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