O'Leary out for 8 weeks
Munster have been dealt a major blow with the news that scrum-half Tomás O'Leary has been ruled out for up to two months with a thumb injury.
O'Leary picked up the injury in last Saturday's 13-9 Magners League defeat by Leinster at the Aviva Stadium and underwent an operation on Tuesday.
It means O'Leary will miss Munster's Heineken Cup fixtures against London Irish and Toulon as well as several Magners League games.
O'Leary will also be sidelined for some, if not all, of Ireland's autumn campaign.
Declan Kidney's side face South Africa, Samoa, New Zealand and Argentina next month.
O'Leary's place in the Munster line-up is likely to go to Peter Stringer, with Eoin Reddan the most likely man to step in for the 26-year-old at international level.
A Munster statement read: "Tomás O'Leary, who injured his thumb in the game against Leinster, has been ruled out of Munster action for the immediate future.
"O'Leary had an operation on Tuesday and could be out for anything from six to eight weeks."
Munster announce their team at noon today and it appears that James Coughlan, who started at No8 in the semi-final defeat by Biarritz last season, may be selected in the middle of the back row.
Stand-in captain Denis Leamy is likely to switch to the blindside flank at the expense of Alan Quinlan.