Pau-Orthez's season has gone from bad to worse with the news that French international Thierry Rupert ruptured his Achilles tendon in a French Cup game.
Pau beat 86-55 Limoges on Tuesday to reach the last 32, but 2.02m forward Rupert has been lost for seven to eight months.
"It felt like a violent kick and the pain was terrible," Rupert said to Pau's official website, www.elan-bearnais.fr.
"I looked around and no one was around me and then I understood."
Pau are the defending French champions but they have endured a nightmare 2004-5.
They have failed to advance to the Top 16 of the Euroleague, and in the French Pro A they are in 10th place, with only the first eight clubs advancing to the end-of-season play-offs.
Pau were already playing shorthanded, with sharpshooter Laurent Foirest, the French national team captain, sidelined with a knee injury.
The 27-year-old Rupert's injury has all but ruled him out of contention for a place in France's Eurobasket 2005 squad.
He played in two of their qualifying games last year when they finished top of Group D with five wins and just one defeat.