Ireland's Six Nations campaign begins on February 4th
Leinster's Sean Cronin is facing an extended spell on the sidelines.
The hooker sustained a hamstring injury during Friday's 70-6 trouncing of Zebre in the Guinness Pro 12 at the RDS, and will miss the next couple of weeks including the European Rugby Champions Cup meeting with Montpellier and an away fixture at Castres.
The exact timescale has yet to be established regarding Cronin's return to action, with forwards coach John Fogarty telling The42.ie's Ryan Bailey that "I hope it’s not months but he’s certainly not going to be here for the next week or two, that’s for sure".
His injury comes with Ireland's 2017 Six Nations campaign on the horizon. Joe Schmidt's side start their campaign against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 4th.
A best case scenario fo a two week return to action timescale would mean Cronin would have a chance of being potentially available for that opening fixture.
Cronin won his first Ireland cap in 2009 and has gone on to win 56 international caps.
Ireland out half Jonathan Sexton came through Friday's game against Zebre unscathed, and is fit to face the French side on Friday.
Meanwhile Rob Kearney is also in contention, having missed the festive period of games with an ankle knock.