Ireland and Ulster hooker Rory Best will be out of action until January after undergoing surgery on his fractured arm.
Best suffered the injury during Ireland's heartbreaking 24-22 defeat to New Zealand on Sunday and there were fears that he could miss the start of the Six Nations campaign.
However, Ulster have confirmed that Best's surgery was successful and that he is expected to return to rugby in mid to late January, with Ireland's Six Nations getting under way against Scotland on 2 February.
Best will, however, miss a good part of Ulster's Heineken Cup campaign.
The 31-year-old had already been ruled out of his side's double header with Treviso but will now also miss the home clash with Montpellier, although he could be back for the trip to Leicester in January.
Meanwhile, forward Iain Henderson is facing up to six weeks out after an MRI scan confirmed that he sustained a torn hamstring during Ulster's win over Edinburgh.