THE Scarlets' back-row resources have taken another hit with the news that Llanelli's Craig Price could be out for up to three months with a knee ligament injury.
Price suffered the injury in training last week and is facing a battle to be fit for the season's run-in.
It is another blow for head coach Simon Easterby who has Aaron Shingler and Josh Turnbull on Wales duty and experienced openside Johnathan Edwards still recovering from a hamstring tear.
Rob McCusker (sinus fracture) and Dan Thomas (shoulder) also sat out last weekend's LV= Cup defeat at Sale with Thomas due to link up with Danny Wilson's Wales Under-20s squad this week.
Price impressed when he came off the bench against Ulster earlier this month and was outstanding at No. 8 in Llanelli's British and Irish Cup victory over Moseley two weeks ago.
The 23-year-old's absence leaves Easterby with limited options ahead of Sunday's final Anglo-Welsh tie with holders Leicester Tigers in Llanelli.
Duane Eager and Lewis Rawlins made their regional debuts against the Sharks and are likely to be required again this weekend.
The 36-17 defeat at the Salford City Stadium has ended the Scarlets' slim hopes of semi-final qualification with London Irish and Saracens battling it out for top spot in Pool 3, although Easterby insists the competition has again proven beneficial.
"There is a bigger picture here," he said. "A number of our players will only get better and learn from these games and will kick on from here and challenge for places for the Pro12.
"The exposure these players are getting will only ever be a plus as far as I'm concerned."