Ulster centre Luke Marshall has been ruled out of Ireland's tour of North America next month, after suffering concussion in three consecutive games this season.
Marshall was forced off the field with head injuries three times in four weeks, suffering concsussion against France and Italy in the final two rounds of the RBS Six Nations, before sustaining another knock to the head in Ulster’s Heineken Cup semi-final against Saracens.
The RaboDirect Pro12 Young Player of the Season, who has not played since the defeat at Twickenham, expects to be back in action next season after resting for the summer.
"Maybe a couple more knocks on the head so soon after the ones I've had could lead to problems," he said.
"Basically, I've been told to take the summer off and come back next season."
Injury to Gordon D’Arcy opened up a vacancy in the Irish backline and Marshall impressed in the green number 12 jersey since making his debut against Scotland in Murrayfield.
The centre was quick to downplay the seriousness of his injuries however, clarifying that the decision not to travel is precautionary.
"I don't think the medics are too worried," Marshall told the Belfast Telegraph.
"Obviously they wouldn't want me to be getting another couple of bangs for a while, but I think it's just precautionary.
"I haven't had any headaches or dizziness and my balance is all right so that's all good.
"While every Ireland game is important, some are more important than others and I think they reckoned it wouldn't be the end of the world if I missed these couple at the end of the season.”