The Waratahs will be without their World Cup star Dan Vickerman for most of their Super Rugby campaign next year.
It was revealed on Thursday that Vickerman will be sidelined for up to six months through injury.
Vickerman suffered an injury to his left shoulder, which became increasingly unstable during the World Cup.
It was determined that conservative management was no longer a viable option and he underwent open shoulder reconstruction on Tuesday.
His return is expected to take approximately five to six months.
The Waratahs said in a statement a further update will be made in due course.
Four players are currently unable to participate in the start of pre-season training due to injury.
The others who will join Vickerman on the sidelines are Wycliff Palu, Drew Mitchell (both hamstring) and Benn Robinson (knee).
They are all continuing with rehabilitation programs under the joint management of the Wallabies and Waratahs medical teams.
Next Monday, October 31, marks the official start of the pre-season for the Waratahs.
As he prepares to welcome the squad back for the pre-season training, head coach Michael Foley says that whilst the on-pitch focus on athletic and rugby skills development, off pitch the squad will also be working hard to enhance the connection with its rugby families.
Next month marks the launch of the Waratahs' new Community Connection program that will give supporters the chance to meet the coaches and players in person through a series of community events taking place over the next two months across the greater Sydney region.
For Foley and the squad, the events are an important opportunity to thank supporters for their ongoing support.
"When I accepted the role of Head Coach, I said it was vital for the team to have a greater connection with its rugby families," said Foley.
"In 2012 we are committed to achieving that both on and off the field."
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