Ultan Dillane appears set to miss the start of the 2017 Six Nations.
Pat Lam has confirmed the lock will face five or six weeks out of action due to the ankle injury he suffered in Connacht's loss to Ulster in the Guinness PRO12 on December 23rd.
The province have stated that he will be assessed by ankle specialist to ascertain the extent of the injury and expected recovery timescale.
Dillane made his debut against England in last year's competition, with his performance earning praise, and has since made eight Irish appearances.
Shortly after that match against England, the Paris born, Kerry native told Newstalk: "All I wanted to do was one moment that people I hope will remember and I was so lucky that I came on against tired bodies and they might just have underestimated me a little and that was it."
Ireland open their 2017 championship campaign away to Scotland on February 4th.