Connacht have been dealt a major blow with the news that fly-half Miah Nikora will require shoulder surgery and could be out for up to five months.
The Kiwi, who joined the Irish province in 2009, picked the injury up in training after the pre-season friendly against London Wasps and will now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
"Miah's news is a big blow to us. We don't have someone of his experience alongside Dan Parks, but we have to move on and give the other guys an opportunity." said Head Coach Pat Lam.
The 28-year-old fly-half apart, Lam has a full strength squad to choose from for their first home game of the season on Saturday when they welcome Ulster to the Galway Showgrounds. Craig Clarke made a welcome return to training on Monday and will continue to be monitored ahead of the weekend while Denis Buckley and Tadhg Leader are also back in full training.
However, Eoin McKeon remains in the treatment room with an ankle complaint and the province confirmed he will undergo a further scan this week to determined the extent of the injury.
Connacht are coming off the back of a disappointing 21-10 loss to Cardiff Blues and will be eager to get back to winning ways against their Irish counterparts.
Meanwhile, Leinster are confident that Luke Fitzgerald will be fit enough for the trip to Glasgow on Friday despite missing the weekend's draw with the Ospreys in Dublin but winger Darren Hudson is sidelined with a hamstring injury.