Munster head coach Johann van Graan has confirmed that Ireland fly-half Joey Carbery will be ruled out for indefinite period after failing to make sufficient recovery from an ankle surgery.
Carbery already missed the World Cup following an injury to his ankle during the warm-up game last autumn and another wrist injury that he sustained against Ulster in January ruled him out of the Six Nations tournament.
The 24-year-old consulted a specialist and was advised to undergo further rehabilitation.
"As disappointing as the latest news is, we have Joey at the centre of it all, going through this, and doing everything right in making sure that when he returns to the pitch he stays on the pitch," said van Graan.
"That's what we all want at the end of this, and undoubtedly it has been a tough blow for him, but he has shown great resilience already and will do everything that's asked of him for this next phase also.
"A serious injury like his can heal in different ways and now that we're moving into the return to rugby stage the ankle isn't where it should be in hitting those next markers.
"David (Nucifora), Andy (Farrell) and I spoke with Joey last week and all want what's best for him. We know his standing in the province and Irish rugby and how important he is to us all.
"Our priority is to look after him. He is a young man with huge sporting talent and a bright future, we are here to support Joey at every stage giving him the time he needs.
"There is a lot of rugby to be played in the coming season and we look forward to welcoming Joey back when he is fully recovered."
Meanwhile, Carbery, who has played 22 Tests for Ireland since his debut in 2016 expressed disappointment on the news and thanked IRFU and Munster for supporting him in the difficult phase.
“It’s an incredibly frustrating time at the moment, but I am making good progress over the last couple of weeks.
“Even though the ankle isn’t where it needs to be just yet, I’ve full confidence it will heal and be pain-free soon, and I will be back better than ever. I just need time right now.
“I’d like to say thank you to the IRFU and Munster for their continued support and for having my back throughout it all.
“I’d also like to thank my girlfriend Robyn and my family for always being there when I need them.
“Lastly, to the fans, I’m so excited to get back out in front of you guys. It’s going to be such an exciting season ahead and I cannot wait to see where we can go as a squad. Hopefully, we will all be back in Thomond Park soon together.”