Darren Cave and Roger Wilson join Ulster's injury list, but O'Connor may return
Despite dealing with the news that two of his players are vehemently denying any wrongdoing after being questioned by police in June over alleged sexual offences, Ulster Director of Rugby Les Kiss continues to plan for his side's trip to Edinburgh on Friday (7.35pm kick-off).
Neither Paddy Jackson or Stuart Olding will feature in the Scottish capital, although Kiss says that is due to player management and injury respectively, and the Australian is dealing with a host of other big-name absentees.
Rory Best, Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne and Craig Gilroy are all on duty with Ireland as Joe Schmidt prepares for another tussle with the All Blacks, while Iain Henderson would have joined them if not for a shoulder injury.
Centre Darren Cave and back-rower Roger Wilson will both miss out having picked up injuries in the defeat to Munster last weekend while Stuart McCloskey, Louis Ludik, Rodney Ah You, Ross Kane, Chris Henry and Marcell Coetzee all remain out.
Lock Pete Browne has gone through the return to play protocols after a concussion but Alan O'Connor remains a doubt.
"There's going to be these things thrown at you and you have to be able to adapt, and change tact quickly and move on," said Kiss of the stretching of his squad. "It does throw you around a little bit but we want to be able to live comfortably in that space.
"Roger has a slight grade-1 medial ligament and 'Cavey' is the same calf strain, not a complete tear. He should be right for Zebre (at the end of the month) and Roger I'm not sure yet.
"Alan's the only one who had some work to do (yesterday) and he has to go through another step because he picked (his concussion) up late in the week. You wait for the response to any workload.
"He hasn't done any contact yet either which is key."