Munster stalwart Alan Quinlan is definitely out of his side's make-or-break Pool 1 clash with Castres Olympique on Saturday because of the knee injury he sustained in the defeat at Sale Sharks on Friday night.
The 31-year-old international flanker damaged his right knee on his 46th Heineken Cup appearance and will visit a specialist on Wednesday to fully assess the problem. Quinlan underwent a scan on Saturday and will have further tests this week.
But while Munster coach Declan Kidney will be sweating on the long-term fitness of his inspirational back row man, he could be ready to welcome back Lions lock Paul O'Connell. O'Connell is due to have the plaster removed from his injured hand this week and could even be given the green light to play against Castres.
Further good news for Kidney is that Ireland wing Anthony Horgan and ex-Springbok centre Trevor Halstead have both resumed training and are likely to be available for selection this weekend.
Munster will be defending their 21 match unbeaten record at Thomond Park and be seeking to extend their 25 match unbeaten run in the tournament. In fact, the only defeat suffered by the mighty Munster at either Musgrave or Thomond Park in 30 home matches was against Cardiff in Cork on 27 September, 1997.