LEINSTER coach Joe Schmidt is already counting the cost of fallen troops, one match into a three-game pre-season programme.
Former Ireland U20 Darren Hudson hobbled from the pristine Tallaght Stadium surface with a thigh injury towards the conclusion of their 33-22 defeat of Gloucester on Saturday evening.
"He is limping. We are hoping that it is not too bad. We are pretty short of outside backs with a few injuries and the internationals not due back for a few weeks," said Schmidt.
Hudson's misfortune adds to those of fellow outside backs and long-term casualties David Kearney, Eoin O'Malley and Luke Fitzgerald, not to mention forwards Sean O'Brien and Rhys Ruddock, compounded by an ugly clash of heads for hooker Aaron Dundon on Saturday.
This is particularly relevant because the senior Ireland internationals will not be back on the field of play until week three of the PRO12 League.
Schmidt and his fellow head coaches will meet Declan Kidney on Wednesday to thrash out the national players' arrangements for the year ahead.
Leinster may have to plan without Ian Madigan as he was central to Leinster's five-try victory at Tallaght Stadium on Saturday.
Schmidt is resigned to having to plan without some key players for the opening rounds of the PRO12, but he is happy that the provinces are now being kept in the loop.
"There is an increased dialogue now, which is positive and we have got a meeting on Wednesday with the provincial coaches and national coaches," he said.
"As long as those lines of communication are open, then it is always just a little bit easier to try to negotiate. But in the end, you have to follow the lead a bit as well."
Filling Jonathan Sexton's shoes, Madigan wanted to catch the eye and after Leo Auva'a's opener on 10 minutes and Ian Clark's retort for Gloucester, the out-half stepped forward on the half-hour mark.
He showed some quick feet to gather an overthrow from hooker Aaron Dundon on the 10-metre line and raced past the cover for an easy try to give Leinster a 14-10 lead at the interval.
After the restart, Madigan turned clever provider and a crossfield kick picked out debutant Andrew Boyle for his first try in the senior blue shirt.
But Nigel Davies' side continued to press and got reward for their efforts when Peter Buxton finished off some incessant Gloucester probing and crashed over.
But Leinster soon settled again and further tries from flanker Dominic Ryan and full-back Darren Hudson got their season off to a fine start.