Olding will sit out the remainder of the season after twisting awkwardly in the final play of Ulster Ravens' 35-10 win over Connacht Eagles at Deramore Park.
"Stuart Olding sustained an injury to his right knee on Friday night. A scan today revealed that he suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and will require surgery. He is expected to be out for the rest of this season," read a statement from Ulster.
The move is a major disappointment for both the player and the province, especially after the youngster had made such a promising start to the season just a few months after establishing himself as a key first team player at the end of 2012.
Capped by Ireland in the United States during the summer, Olding has kicked on again this term having featured in both Ulster's Heineken Cup fixtures last month. He came off the bench at home to Leicester Tigers and at Montpellier as the Belfast-based outfit began their Pool 5 campaign with successive wins.
Equally comfortable at centre, fly-half or full back, Olding was ironically in fine form on the night he was injured. The former Ireland U18 and U20 star, converted all five tries and guided Ulster's second string to a comfortable victory during the international break but he will now have to turn his attentions to a lengthy period of rehabilitation while his team-mates look to win a first trophy in eight years and a first European crown since 1999.