Ireland's second-row stocks will be sorely tested in the coming weeks with the news that Ulster's Iain Henderson has joined James Ryan and Tadhg Beirne on the sidelines just as the game gets back up and running.
Henderson recently had hip surgery and it is expected that he could be out for anything up to eight or ten weeks. A release from the province on Tuesday suggested a “mid-October” return which would rule him out of the rest of the interrupted PRO14 season and Ulster's European quarter-final.
That's as things stand.
Were Dan McFarland's men to overcome Toulouse in France in that last eight tie he would also miss the semi-final at the end of September and, in the event they won that, be nip and tuck for a part in the final on the weekend of October 17/18.
Ireland's first action come the restart is due to be the delayed Six Nations game against Italy at the Aviva Stadium on October 24 when Henderson and Ryan, out for a handful of months after suffering a shoulder injury in training with Leinster, are on course to be available.
Beirne has, according to Munster, a “low-grade” leg injury.
Will Addison is another high-profile concern for Ulster at the moment. The versatile Ireland back is said to be rehabbing a back injury. Angus Curtis continues to rehabilitate a multi-ligament knee injury while Andrew Warwick is due to undergo hip surgery next week.
Greg Jones (ankle), Matthew Rea (ankle), Sam Carter (shoulder) and Matt Faddes (shoulder) are all integrating back into training following respective surgeries and are projected to be fit – en masse - for selection on 23 August when they face Connacht in Dublin in their first game back.