Leicester will be missing prop Dan Cole for this weekend’s clash with Munster at Thomond Park as he is ruled out with a cut on his thigh.
It was expected that England duo, scrum-half Ben Youngs and tighthead prop Cole, would return to the XV after their November exploits.
But while Youngs is ready to play, Cole won’t be available on Saturday.
“Ben Youngs is full of the joys of life,” director of rugby Richard Cockerill told the Leicester Mercury ahead of the Champions Cup clash.
“Dan got injured at the weekend. He has a nasty cut on his quad from a boot and that will make him unavailable for the Munster game. There’s no structural damage but it’s a fair old laceration. It has been stitched and dressed and will be a couple of weeks. Hopefully he will be OK to play in the next game.”
In other injury news reported by the newspaper, hooker Tom Youngs is set to feature while there was also good news on centre Manu Tuilagi.
“Manu is fine, there has been no reaction. We will see how we get through this week but there is a chance he could start. If not, he is very close,” said Cockerill ahead of the upcoming back-to-back games against the Irish province with Pool 1 fascinatingly poised ahead of the weekend.
“We are in a good position as things sit,” added the boss. “But the next five weeks will dictate our season to a large degree.
“We have two games against Munster in Europe then three huge games in the Premiership against Exeter, Saracens and Wasps. So the next five weeks are pretty important.
“Thomond Park is a great place. I think Munster have re-found the pride and passion you associate with them. They have the same players pretty much as last year but are a different team, with more confidence and a little bit of edge about them.”