Conan facing four months on sidelines
Jack Conan had surgery in England yesterday to deal with a slightly complicated foot fracture and is expected to be out for four months.
The Ireland No 8 will have to fight his way back up the pecking order at Leinster as Caelan Doris is given the room to grow towards the Champions Cup.
The 2020 Six Nations looks like it could just be out of reach unless Conan's powers of recovery are better than expected.
Prop Ed Byrne's return from a neck injury suffered in training ahead of the first round of the PRO14 league has been delayed.
"He got a bang on his neck and it just hasn't quite settled down," said Leinster coach Leo Cullen. "We were hoping he was going to be involved over the last couple of weeks but it has been pushed out.
"Hopefully, he'll be good to go after the break next week. But, again, we can't say for certain."
Meanwhile, Munster's hopes of starting the season with three bonus-point wins for the first time ever have suffered a big setback, with Chris Cloete sidelined for some time with an ankle injury.
Jack O'Sullivan will be drafted into the squad ahead of Friday's game with the in-form Cheetahs.
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The Cork native, who made his senior debut off the bench against the Dragons two days before his 21st birthday last week, has linked up with the squad in Johannesburg, where they are based until Thursday when they will travel up to altitude in Bloemfontein.