Lions flanker Lewis Moody faces a race against time to be fit for first Test contention against New Zealand next week.
The Leicester forward has withdrawn from his place on the bench for Wednesday's clash against Wellington, when he will be replaced by his England colleague Richard Hill.
The Lions confirmed Moody had suffered an injury to his left knee in training, but the apparent seriousness was not revealed until coach Gareth Jenkins spoke to the media in Wellington on Tuesday.
Jenkins revealed that Moody is "out of the selection process" for next Saturday's game against Otago in Dunedin, and that will seriously hamper his Test prospects, given the Lions boss Sir Clive Woodward is likely to have finalised his first choice line-up by early next week.
Moody has not travelled to Wellington, remaining behind at the squad's Christchurch base for further tests.
Three players - Lawrence Dallaglio, Malcolm O'Kelly and Simon Taylor - have already been ruled out of the tour because of injuries.
The possible loss of Moody would be a huge blow, given his versatility at blindside and openside flanker, but it would appear the signs are not good.
Prop Andrew Sheridan, meanwhile, is battling to overcome an ankle injury sustained against the New Zealand Maori last Saturday, raising doubts about his prospects of being fit to face Otago. Like Moody, Sheridan is a serious candidate for the Lions' Test 22.
The British and Irish Lions team to play Wellington on Wednesday is:
J Lewsey (Wasps and England); J Robinson (Sale and England), B O'Driscoll (Leinster and Ireland, capt), G Henson (Ospreys and Wales), G Thomas (Toulouse and Wales); J Wilkinson (Newcastle and England), D Peel (Lanelli and Wales); G Jenkins (Cardiff and Wales), S Byrne (Leinster and Ireland), J White (Leicester and England), D Grewcock (Bath and England), B Kay (Leicester and England), S Easterby (Llanelli and Ireland), N Back (Leicester and England), M Corry (Leicester and England).
Replacements: G Bulloch (Leeds and Scotland), M Stevens (Bath and England), P O'Connell (Munster and Ireland), R Hill (Saracens and England), C Cusiter (Borders and Scotland), S Jones (Clermont Auvergne and Wales), S Horgan (Leinster and Ireland)
Dan Murphy was part of a Gloucester pack which took a grip as the Sale game progressed and, ultimately, were rewarded with a late penalty try. The loose head prop says the team's improved scrummaging is down to a lot of hard work over the summer.
Gloucester clinched their first Aviva Premiership win of the season on Saturday, 34-27 over Sale Sharks, and scrum half Greig Laidlaw felt that the Kingsholm crowd played a massive part as they spurred the team on.
David Humphreys spoke to Gloucester Rugby TV after the 34-27 win over Sale Sharks at Kingsholm. The Director of Rugby praised the Kingsholm crowd for spurring the team on to a super second half comeback.
Speaking to Gloucester Rugby TV this week, Sione Kalamafoni is expecting a tough, physical battle against Sale Sharks as the Cherry and Whites return to Kingsholm for Round Two of the Aviva Premiership
Previewing this weekend's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Sale Sharks with the local media, Director of Media David Humphreys admitted he's looking forward to the team's first competitive outing in front of their own supporters.
Gloucester United got off to a flying start with an early try in this evening's Aviva Premiership A League fixture at Worcester Cavaliers, but it was downhill from there as the home side dominated in a 34-17 win.
Triumphant in their challenge, the Gloucester Rugby Former players have successfully completed the 969 mile journey from Land's End to John O'Groats despite the aches and pains they endured on the way.