IRELAND boss Declan Kidney today confirmed that full-back Rob Kearney will be out of action for up to ten weeks.
Kearney (left) will definitely miss Ireland's autumn internationals with South Africa, Fiji and Argentina and Leinster's vital back-to-back clashes with Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup.
He could also be a doubt for the Six Nations opener against Wales in February.
Kidney revealed that Kearney will go under the knife tomorrow on his back complaint.
“He’s having surgery tomorrow that will take him out for eight to 10 weeks so we wish him a speedy recovery with that,” Declan Kidney said.
“We just learned yesterday it was going to go ahead.
“The medics will always do all they can to avoid interventions in the body, so they take a look at all other avenues of care.
“They’ve been trying a few but with little success so they just decided yesterday to go for it (surgery).”
In a further blow to Joe Schmidt's plans, Isa Nacewa (far left) broke his hand in Leinster’s win over the Scarlets on and will be out for 4-6 weeks.
That leaves the Fijian in a race against time to be fit for Leinster’s crucial game with Vern Cotter's men on December 9.
Iain Henderson, Luke Marshall, Richardt Strauss, David Kilcoyne are the only uncapped players in Kidney’s 31-man squad for the autumn internationals, while Kidney expects another few names to be added at full-back and prop next week.