Cian Healy could miss the start of Ireland's Six Nations campaign after Leinster confirmed that the loosehead has undergone ankle surgery.
Healy sustained the injury during training with Leinster and while it was initially thought to have been a minor injury, scans revealed the extent of the damage and this week's surgery could see him sidelined for up to eight week.
The players will miss Leinster's final three pool games in the Heineken Cup and is now a doubt for the early stages of the Six Nations, including Ireland's home games with Scotland and Wales.
Healy has suffered with ankle problems before, most notably picking up an injury that forced him out of the Lions tour of Australia.
There appears to be better news for Leinster elsewhere however as the province remain hopeful Sean O'Brien will overcome a dead leg and will be fit to start this weekend's game Heineken Cup clash with Northampton.