Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek rates Rob Kearney’s chances of playing against Argentina in this weekend’s clash at the Aviva Stadium as no better than ’50-50’.
Speaking to the media at Ireland’s training base at Carton House, Feek said that Kearney was the only injury doubt in head coach Joe Schmidt’s squad.
Kearney suffered a shoulder injury in Leinster's recent Pro14 win over Treviso and though he wasn’t in the 26-strong travelling party for last weekend’s win over Italy in Chicago, he was part of a group of 16 players being supervised back at base.
"He's probably in the middle 50 per cent," said Feek. "Everyone else is tipping away.
"Rob was working with the physios today. We will see how he goes but it is just a case of getting there.
"Hopefully things will progress for him. Firstly Rob Kearney is Rob Kearney, he's a good man to have in the team, offers a lot of experience.
"In saying that, we have good depth in the squad. This series is all about that, testing our depth in the squad, making sure that people can slot in and things can carry on."
Scrum half Conor Murray will not feature against Argentina on Saturday, but Feek refused to rule him out of playing some part against world champions New Zealand at Lansdowne Road the following week.
Feek said: "Yeah, he's not in camp. Again it's another one that we're just monitoring and I'm still getting up to speed with all that as well.
"It's something that obviously not being here this week, they're freshening him up and it is just trying to tick some boxes to get back in the frame.
"We already have three half-backs there so there's no point in carrying one more."
Murray's absence from Ireland's Carton House training base this week means the accomplished half-back will certainly miss Saturday's Test clash with Argentina in Dublin.
All Blacks boss Hansen opted to keep it light last week, when quizzed on Murray's possible availability to face his team on November 17 in Ireland.
"Is Conor really going to be out or is it an Irish trick? Or is it the truth?" joked Hansen, after New Zealand's 37-20 victory over Australia in Yokohama.
"Conor's a great player and it's really disappointing for both Ireland and us that's he's not playing. They'll miss him but what a wonderful opportunity for somebody else to step up."
An experimental Ireland side thrashed Italy in America and there are likely to be plenty of changes in the team to face Argentina, which will be named on Thursday.
The likes of Jonathan Sexton, Tadhg Furlong and James Ryan are expected to return, with Joey Carbery, James Porter and Quinn Roux dropping from the starting line-up.
If Kearney doesn’t recover from his injury in time Jordan Larmour, who starred against Italy, should get the nod at full-back.
With Murray out, either Kieran Marmion or Luke McGrath, who wore the number nine jersey the last day, are expected to start at scrum half.