Ireland international Denis Leamy has been ruled out of this season’s RBS 6 Nations Championship.
The Munster back-row forward suffered a serious knee injury during his team’s Heineken Cup victory over Perpignan in France last Sunday.
And the 28-year-old could struggle to play again this season, with Munster expecting him to be sidelined for between four to six months.
Leamy was hurt during the build-up to wing Doug Howlett’s try in the last play of a game that Munster won 37-14 at Stade Aime Giral.
He underwent a scan on his knee the following day, and was operated on in a Dublin clinic yesterday.
His lengthy absence is a major blow for both Munster, who are chasing their third European title this term, and Ireland coach Declan Kidney.
Leamy is a valuable member of the Irish squad, featuring during their recent autumn Tests when he started against Fiji and made a substitute’s appearance during the 20-20 draw with Australia.