Jamie Roberts goes over for Wales' first try against New Zealand since 2006
Cardiff Blues and Wales have been dealt a huge blow with the news that centre Jamie Roberts has been ruled out of the first few months of the season.
The 2009 British and Irish Lions man of the series is due to undergo an operation on a wrist injury next week.
That will rule him out of the opening rounds of the Heineken Cup and Wales' four-Test autumn series.
"I injured my wrist during the second [Lions] Test in South Africa last year," said 23-year-old Roberts.
"I had a couple of MRI scans which unfortunately didn't pick up the injury and it wasn't until the surgeon had a look with a camera into the joint at the end of the season that the full extent of the injury was diagnosed.
The competition at centre is very strong again this year
"Unfortunately it needs an operation to stabilise the wrist. I played all of last season with a lot of pain in my wrist and so it is logical to get it sorted as soon as possible.
"It's pretty disappointing to be missing more or less the first half of the season, but I will certainly use the time whilst injured to rid my body of any niggles I have and come back to the field in good knick and aim to lift more silverware with the Blues."
Roberts played both games in Wales' two-Test tour of New Zealand last month, taking him to 24 Wales caps.
He impressed hugely in the 29-10 second-Test loss, scoring Wales' first try against the All Blacks since 2006.
"I thoroughly enjoyed the tour, as players we want to be playing and testing ourselves against the best sides in world rugby and New Zealand is certainly a very tough place to play," said Roberts.
"Without a shadow of a doubt the squad benefited from the tour, by playing the best we get to know the standard of what's required to beat these teams.
"I was very happy to get two starts on the tour and was pleased with my own form.
"However, with the Rugby World Cup looming next year the squad know the intensity and the standard that's required.
"Obviously the aim for us at the Blues this year is to build on our achievements from last season.
"We certainly have the talent to be successful and I'm sure come the first match the boys will be ready to stamp their mark on what hopefully will be another successful season for us.
"The competition at centre is very strong again this year, Casey Laulala, Tom Shanklin, Dafydd Hewitt and Gavin Evans are all quality players.
"Well all have our work cut out for sure and competition for places is certainly healthy amongst us."
Roberts made his competitive debut for the Blues on the wing against the Ospreys in 2007, and has also featured at full-back.
In just two seasons he has cemented his place in the Wales team and become one of the most exciting centres in world rugby.