An ankle injury could keep Ireland lock Ultan Dillane out of the forthcoming Six Nations.
He suffered the injury playing for Connacht in their Pro12 loss to Ulster just before Christmas.
Connacht have confirmed that he will be out of Saturday’s trip to Ospreys and that he is set to see an ankle specialist.
Dillane only made his Ireland Six Nations debut last year and the second row made an immediate impact.
He could be set for six weeks on the sidelines – more if he requires surgery – and this would keep him out of at least the start of Ireland’s spring campaign.
Joe Schmidt’s side start the Six Nations against Scotland in Edinburgh on Saturday, February 4 with Italy away six days later.
Connacht’s already lengthy injury list continues to grow, adding to head coach Pat Lam’s selection headaches.
Nepia Fox-Matamua is out of the trip to Wales with a dislocated rib suffered in defeat to Munster over the festive period.
Captain John Muldoon suffered a hamstring injury in training on Monday and he too is unavailable for the game with Ospreys on Saturday.
In other Connacht injury news, Finlay Bealham and Matt Healy are both suffering from stomach bugs and were unable to train on Tuesday.
Jack Carty picked up a minor calf injury in training on Monday and he is being monitored by medical staff.
On the credit side of the ledger, Eoin McKeon, James Connolly and John Cooney are all expected to be available this weekend after recent absences.
Danie Poolman has returned to team training after passing the return-to-play protocols for concussion.