Connacht’s Robbie Henshaw will be out of action for six weeks after suffering a metacarpal fracture to his hand in the last play of the province’s 18-12 Pro12 win over Munster on Saturday.
The Connacht medical team confirmed that the 22-year-old centre was suffering is in Dublin for a surgeon review and that the likelihood was that he would be sidelined for six weeks.
That would mean Henshaw missing the back-to-back European Challenge Cup games against Newcastle Falcons and the Irish derby encounters against Ulster and Leinster over Christmas.
Connacht, who recorded their first win at Thomond Park since 1986 on Saturday and currently occupy top spot in the table, also revealed that prop Denis Buckley (ankle) and flanker Eoghan Masterson (thumb) will also join Henshaw on the sidelines.
Both Buckley and Masterson are expected to miss three weeks of action with their respective injuries.
Adding to coach Pat Lams’ injury woes was the confirmation that Nepia Fox-Matamua is out for the season following the ruptured ACL he sustained against Brive earlier this month.
Connacht travel across the Irish Sea to face Cardiff Blues in the Pro12 on Friday, with recent absentees Rodney Ah You, Quinn Roux, Ben Marshall, Dave McSharry and Eoin McKeon all available for selection.