Munster have suffered a setback ahead of the new Guinness PRO12 campaign after hooker Mike Sherry was ruled out for up to six months.
The second shoulder operation in eight months has rocked the Irish province just weeks before the new season, with Munster giving a statement.
"Across pre-season Sherry continued to integrate back into full training, however following a routine check-up on his shoulder another issue was identified with Limerick-man undergoing a second shoulder surgery last Friday and will remain out of action until the New Year," it read.
"More positive news for wingers Luke O'Dea and Gerhard van den Heever. A knee injury sustained by O'Dea while playing against Daveta Rugby in the Limerick World Club 7s is not as bad as first feared, and knee bruising will keep him out for three to four weeks. Van den Heever (knee), another casualty of the 7s competition is currently in a knee brace will remain side-lined for another four to five weeks.
"Having twinged his knee at an Ireland training camp last week Keith Earls is also out for four to five weeks.
"Meanwhile Damien Varley will continue to manage a foot injury for another three to four weeks, with fellow hooker Duncan Casey on track to return to the field of play."