Munster's South African centre Jaco Taute is facing six months out after going under the knife to rectify knee ligament damage.
Taute, 26, suffered the injury in the 39-16 Pro14 win against Cardiff Blues on Saturday and must now undergo an extensive rehabilitation programme.
It's a serious blow for both player and province, and comes after the news that Tadhg Beirne will head to Thomond Park at the start of next season.
The former Leinster lock, who has been at Scarlets since 2016, will sign a two-year deal as he bids to put himself in the frame for a place in Joe Schmit’s Ireland squad.
The Kildare man won the Pro12 last season with the Welsh side, and their coach Wayne Pivac told reporters yesterday that they would have liked to keep the 25-year-old but could understand his motives.
"We put a really, really good offer in front of him which he's rejected," Pivac told the Irish Independent.
"He's a young fella, he's Irish. He wants to play for Ireland and who would blame him? It's like our boys want to play for Wales. We fully support him in this.
"We've got a very good player until the end of the season. If it doesn't work out, we'd welcome him back with open arms."
A former Ireland U20s player, Beirne featured in all of Ireland’s games during the 2012 6 Nations and Junior World Championship, lining out next to current Munster men JJ Hanrahan, Chris Farrell and Niall Scannell.
Listen to live coverage of Leinster v Munster, Saturday, RTÉ Radio 1, from 2pm