Ulster are facing a second-row shortage for Saturday's Challenge Cup quarter-final trip to Northampton Saints.
Academy lock Cormac Izuchukwu, who has impressed in his first exposure to senior rugby of late, hobbled out of the emphatic win over Harlequins at the weekend and is waiting for scan results on an injury his head coach Dan McFarland admitted "did not look good."
The former Sevens star was making his European debut from the bench at the Twickenham Stoop and again provided McFarland with a dynamic option in the engine room with two big carries after his introduction.
It was on the second, however, that his knee appeared to buckle underneath him, and any absence will further stretch an already thin unit.
Wallaby Sam Carter has been missing since the loss to Leinster at the RDS in early January, while Iain Henderson hasn't been seen in provincial action since October due to a mix of suspension, Test commitments and injury.
The skipper shipped a shoulder knock on Ireland duty in the final round of the Six Nations, although McFarland had said last week that he thought Henderson would be fit to face Harlequins.
"I was maybe over-excited," the coach admitted of his prognosis.
"It wasn't that there was a setback but he needed to be assessed as the week went on and it was an interesting one.
"We had to make a decision that it wasn't right for him to play.
"He'll be day-to-day. We won't know until we get into the week whether he's going to be fit (to face Northampton)."
Against Quins, McFarland was able to deploy back-rower Matty Rea - a schoolboy second-row at Ballymena Academy - in place of Izuchukwu while, after EPCR scrapped a cap on squad sizes for this season's European competitions, sub-Academy prospect Conor McMenamin is also registered to play in the Challenge Cup despite not having represented the senior side.
Should Henderson fail to make it, though, it can be presumed it will again be up to Alan O'Connor and Kieran Treadwell to shoulder the load.
Long-time stalwart O'Connor has already appeared in 17 of Ulster's 19 games this season, while Treadwell has been involved in the last nine on the spin.
"It's not good at all," added McFarland of such reliance on just two players. "It compounds itself because the guys who aren't injured are then doing all the training and all the playing and then their risk of injury goes up."
The injury to Izuchukwu was the only dampener on an otherwise uneventful passage through to the quarter-finals, their last-16 tie having been rendered something of a non-event by Harlequins' decision to make 14 changes to their starting side.
Asserting their superiority through the entire 80 minutes - not always the case over the course of some Guinness PRO14 games against similarly weakened opposition - McFarland was pleased by his team's approach in the face of second-string opponents.
"Mindset is such a huge thing in sport," he said. "When you have in your mind that you're preparing for a really strong team, or the strongest team they can put out, and then it changes, there's naturally going to need to be a renewed sense of having to take the game seriously.
"But we set about our business and found a few ways of going after them and putting them under pressure."