Tadhg Beirne could miss the Six Nations after Munster confirmed he suffered a broken ankle during their Champions Cup defeat against Saracens and requires surgery.
The Ireland international was stretchered off just 10 minutes into Munster’s 15-6 defeat at Allianz Park after twisting his ankle in a tackle.
Munster revealed this evening that Beirne sustained an ankle fracture and must undergo an operation.
They did not speculate on how long the 27-year-old will be out of action for but he faces a race against time to be fit for Ireland’s Six Nations opener against Scotland on 1 February.
Munster also confirmed captain Peter O’Mahony sustained a "low grade abductor injury" during the warm-up prior to the Saracens game, while prop John Ryan suffered a calf strain.
Winger Andrew Conway must follow return-to-play protocols after he was withdrawn during the second half for a head injury assessment.
There was also some positive news on the injury front, with looseheads Dave Kilcoyne and Jeremy Loughman set to return to training this week.
Munster travel to Connacht in the Pro14 on Saturday before further derbies against Leinster and Ulster on 28 December and 3 January respectively.