Munster have been dealt a major blow with the news that scrum-half Tomas O'Leary has been ruled out for up to two months with a thumb injury.
O'Leary picked up the injury in last Saturday's 13-9 Magners League defeat to Leinster at the Aviva Stadium and underwent an operation on Tuesday.
It means O'Leary will miss Munster's Heineken Cup fixtures against London Irish and Toulon as well as several Magners League games.
O'Leary will also miss some, if not all, of Ireland's autumn campaign - Declan Kidney's side face South Africa, Samoa, New Zealand and Argentina next month.
His place in the Munster line-up is likely to go to Peter Stringer, with Eoin Reddan the most likely man to step in at international level.
A Munster statement read: "Tomas O'Leary, who injured his thumb in the game against Leinster, has been ruled out of Munster action for the immediate future.
"O'Leary had an operation on Tuesday and could be out for anything from six to eight weeks."
Munster have also confirmed that they will not appeal against centre Lifeimi Mafi's seven-week suspension for a dangerous tackle on Gordon D'Arcy in the clash with Leinster.