Munster number eight Robin Copeland looks set to miss the whole of the Six Nations because of a shoulder injury.
Copeland made his Test debut in November against Georgia, but was not considered for Ireland's Six Nations opener against Italy because of the shoulder problem.
He had been expected to return for Munster against former club Cardiff Blues this weekend, however it now appears that he will need to see a specialist over the troublesome shoulder problem.
That could mean he requires surgery, and it seems unlikely that he will back fit in time to play any part in the Six Nations.
"He is going off to see a specialist. It is a shoulder injury so we don’t know the full extent of that. He could be out for some time. It has been an ongoing thing," explained Munster assistant coach Brian Walsh.
"Certainly in the short-term until such time as he sees the specialist we won’t know for definite but it looks like he might need some work on his shoulder."