Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones is expected to miss the start of the 2021 Six Nations Championship.
The Test record-holder for appearances suffered a knee injury during Wales’ Autumn Nations Cup clash against Italy last month. And after being assessed by the medical staff at the Ospreys, Jones could now be a doubt for Wales’ Six Nations opener against Ireland on February 7.
Ospreys head coach Toby Booth says that Jones’ absence could be “double figures” in terms of weeks from when he was injured.
This also means the 35-year-old could face a race to be fit to face Scotland at Murrayfield in the second round of the tournament.
“We’ve spoken to the powers that be in relation to his knee,” Booth said.
“We think he will be double-figure weeks. If I said it to Alun, he would say: ‘I will be back in eight’. That’s the nature of the beast.
“He is probably going to be somewhere around that sort of time-frame, which is disappointing for him and obviously for us.
“If anyone is going to get back early, it will be him.”
The news is a major concern for Wales head coach Wayne Pivac, who has overseen just three victories in 10 Tests since succeeding Warren Gatland last year.
Jones joins a list of injured Wales players, with the likes of Scarlets trio Liam Williams, Johnny Williams and Ken Owens, plus Dragons back-row forward Ross Moriarty, all currently sidelined.