Josh van der Flier will miss Ireland’s summer tour to South Africa after undergoing ankle surgery.
Leinster’s fast-developing back-rower broke into Ireland’s Test side during an impressive RBS 6 Nations campaign, but will now be sidelined for two months.
The 23-year-old flanker will also miss Leinster’s Pro12 semi-final against Ulster at Dublin’s RDS Arena on Friday, May 20.
“Josh van der Flier saw a specialist on Monday having injured his ankle against Ulster and following further review it was decided that Josh should have an operation to repair the damage,” read a Leinster statement.
“He had surgery yesterday and it was a success but he will be out for eight weeks.”
Van der Flier was among the 44 players who convened at Ireland’s one-day training camp last month as head coach Joe Schmidt eyed early preparations for the three-Test June tour of South Africa.
The dogged loose-forward would have been hoping to boost his development still further by taking on the Springboks, but instead will now start a painstaking rehabilitation process.
Leinster still expect Rob Kearney and Johnny Sexton to beat minor injury issues in time for that semi-final clash with Ulster.
Full-back Kearney is nursing an ankle issue while Sexton has picked up a quad complaint.
Leinster confirmed in their statement: “Rob Kearney and Johnny Sexton were both withdrawn against Benetton Treviso for precautionary reasons but are making good progress from both injuries.”