BRISBANE, Australia (AP) -- Quade Cooper is expected to be sidelined for four months after scans Monday showed he needs surgery on a shoulder injury he sustained in the Queensland Reds weekend Super Rugby loss to the Melbourne Rebels.
Cooper, who had been a likely contender at flyhalf for Australia against France in a three-test series next month, is due to have surgery Tuesday on his left shoulder. He will use the rehabilitation period to have another operation to remove loose cartilage in his hip.
Reds coach Richard Graham anticipated Cooper would recover and rebound from the injury like he did following knee surgery in 2012.
"A player of Quade's ability rarely has extended breaks from the game, so if there is a silver lining to this injury layoff it is that this will allow him time to refresh and repair his body," Graham said.
The 26-year-old Cooper has played 50 tests for Australia, but has been in and out of the Wallabies starting lineup in the last two seasons.
He was expected to hold the starting role at flyhalf against France despite Queensland's losing run in Super Rugby this season. Instead, he'll likely to be sidelined until September and will miss the June tests and the Rugby Championship against New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.
ACT Brumbies flyhalf Matt Toomua is a likely replacement in the No. 10 jersey for Australia, with Kurtley Beale and Bernard Foley of the Waratahs other possible contenders.