Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery is to undergo surgery on a troublesome shoulder problem in Dublin on Friday.
Munster's Jerry Flannery was Ireland's find of the season
The 27-year-old Munsterman picked up a shoulder injury during the summer tour to New Zealand and Australia.
"I need to get the situation clarified and I have gone to the best medical people in the business," said Flannery, who has played nine times for Ireland.
"It is a worrying time for me. I'm not sure what the damage is, but it is not right," he added.
Flannery's complaint is still a mystery, but Irish captain Brian O'Driscoll was back playing six months after dislocating his shoulder during last year's Lions tour.
Flannery helped Munster to Heineken Cup glory in May, and was Ireland's big find of last season. He is expected to be out of action for at least three months and certain to miss Ireland's three