Wales centre Adam Hughes is facing a race against time to be fit for their opening European Nations Cup match against Scotland on 16 October.
Adam Hughes faces surgery on a hand injury
Hughes, released by relegated Super League club Widnes Vikings, needs to undergo surgery on a hand injury.
The 27-year-old has played in every Wales game since 2002 and hopes to make the clash at Bridgend's Brewery Field.
"I'm having the operation soon... I hope to be there as I don't like missing playing for Wales," he said.
The former Leeds, Wakefield and Halifax three-quarter, who played his last match for the Vikings in their 68-10 defeat by London Broncos on Sunday, is now looking for a new team.
Hughes has not ruled out a move to the new Welsh club the Celtic Crusaders, who start life in the LHF Healthplan National League Two next season and aim to include at least 18 Welshmen in their 24-strong squad.
"I'm finished with the Vikings so I'm a free agent now," said Hughes. "I'm looking out for a new club for 2006 and I'm just waiting to see who comes in for me."
Scotland meet Ireland in Edinburgh on 23 October, before Wales take on Ireland at Terenure University in Dublin on 29 October.
The winners of this group will play the winners of the other group involving France, Georgia and Russia in the final in Carcassonne on 6 November.