WALLABIES captain David Pocock will consult a surgeon this morning after injuring his right knee in the first half of Saturday night's opening 27-19 Bledisloe Cup loss to New Zealand in Sydney.
Scans yesterday confirmed Pocock had suffered damage to the articular cartilage of his knee.
Today's consultation will determine what rehabilitation the inspirational skipper needs to undertake.
Wallabies officials refused to speculate on the extent of the damage, saying only that: "Further information will be released following discussions with the surgeon".
The loss of Pocock would be a massive blow for the Australians ahead of game two of both the Bledisloe Cup and inaugural Rugby Championship at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday night.
With Queensland Reds captain James Horwill and utility back James O'Connor out injured, and fly-half Quade Cooper seemingly out of favour with selectors, the Wallabies are heavily reliant on Pocock and scrum half Will Genia.
Wales coach Warren Gatland, who led his team in a close series against Australia in June, said Pocock was one of the core players in the team.
"He is a real threat, he is powerful over the ball and destructive so if you can nullify him and keep him out of the game you go a long way towards getting a result," Gatland said.
The Kiwi said the Wallabies relied too heavily on a handful of world-class players, and if Pocock was unavailable, only Genia, and to a lesser extent Digby Ioane, would have to shoulder the load.
"They have a group of players who are dangerous, but without all of them they are a bit vulnerable," Gatland said.
"They have the x-factor and firepower together, but when some are missing they are a little exposed."
As well as lacking that x-factor in attack on Saturday night, the Wallabies were exposed defensively, particularly out wide.
They were still in the hunt after Berrick Barnes booted a penalty goal with just four minutes remaining to trail by five points.
But the All Blacks defence held firm and a penalty goal after the siren to Dan Carter extended the margin to eight points and left the Wallabies without a bonus point ahead of the daunting trip to New Zealand.
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