Injury blow for Rhys Webb leaves him in fitness race for start of Six Nations
Wales scrum-half Rhys Webb faces a battle to be fit for the start of this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship.
The Ospreys number nine will undergo surgery on Friday after suffering an ankle injury during Wales' 32-8 defeat against Australia in Cardiff last weekend.
The Welsh Rugby Union said in a statement that Webb suffered ligament damage and it is expected he will face a rehabilitation period of "at least 12 weeks".
Wales kick off their Six Nations campaign against Italy in Rome on February 5.
Webb, who has won 23 caps and is viewed as a major contender for next summer's British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand, missed the 2015 World Cup because of injury.
The 27-year-old suffered a serious foot injury during Wales' final tournament warm-up game, and he took no part in the competition.
Scarlets scrum-half Gareth Davies, who proved an outstanding replacement for Webb at the World Cup, will line up in Wales' number nine shirt against Principality Stadium visitors Argentina on Saturday.