Munster have confirmed that Joey Carbery will miss the remainder of their campaign and is now targeting a return in time for the start of pre-season.
Carbery has endured a torrid time with injury since he joined Munster two years ago, and just last week underwent ankle surgery to fix a long-standing issue, which dates back to August during Ireland's World Cup warm-up win over Italy.
Already sidelined with a wrist injury, having sought further medial advice for his ankle issue, it was decided that the best course of action was to go under the knife in order to solve the problem once and for all.
The 24-year old was always facing a race to make it back before the end of the season, and that will now not be the case, as he looks to return ahead of the new season.
"The Munster Rugby Medical Department have confirmed that Joey Carbery's expected return to training will be at the start of pre-season ahead of the 2020/21 campaign," a statement read.
This latest setback means that Carbery will only have started one game in his second season with the province, while making just one other appearance off the bench.
The out-half's first campaign in Limerick was blighted by a hamstring issue, which saw him miss several weeks.
It is a major blow to Munster and Johann van Graan, who was keeping his fingers crossed that Carbery would make it back for the run-in, but it is hoped that this prolonged spell out will provide the talented Ireland international with enough time to come back even stronger next season.
Leinster lock Ryan Baird has been rewarded for his outstanding display against Glasgow last Friday with a call-up to the Ireland squad.
The 20-year old was included in the original Six Nations squad as a development player before being released back to his province.
Baird, a product of St Michael's College, scored a brilliant hat-trick in Leinster's win over Glasgow last week as he showcased his superb athletic ability.
The powerful lock, who played for the Ireland U-20s last year, will train with Ireland in the early part of the week as he furthers his experience with the senior squad.
Ultan Dillane and Dave Heffernan will rejoin the squad as soon as they land back from South Africa after helping Connacht to an important PRO14 win over the Kings.
A group of 35 players will train this week despite this weekend's game against Italy being postponed.
Instead, Andy Farrell's men will begin preparations for their next Six Nations clash which is due to take place against France in a fortnight.