Ulster and Ireland utility back Jared Payne has undergone surgery on his foot and will miss two further months of action.
Having had to drop out of Ireland's Rugby World Cup squad ahead of their Pool D clash with France, the 30-year-old has now gone under the knife to fix the fracture.
Ulster coach Neil Doak said of the situation: “Jared had an operation. There’s no definitive return point at this stage, like most things with bones.
“And there could be some structural damage down there, who knows? It could be eight weeks, he’s had his surgery and he’s on the road to recovery.”
The projected timespan of Payne's recovery means that he's set to miss the first four rounds of Ulster's Champions Cup campaign, as well as all the ongoing Pro12 action until Christmas.