Munster and Ireland fly-half Joey Carbery will miss the 2020 Six Nations following surgery on a wrist ligament injury, the Irish club announced on Wednesday.
With starting fly-half Johnny Sexton also sidelined as he recovers from knee ligament damage, Ireland head coach Andy Farrell faces a possible headache at the position ahead of his first Six Nations game against Scotland on Feb. 1.
Carbery, 24, faces up to four months out after picking up a wrist injury during Munster’s 17-38 loss to Ulster on Friday, his first start since returning from an ankle issue.
“Devastation doesn’t even describe how I’m feeling,” Carbery said via Instagram. “Thanks for all the well wishes. Been a tough couple of months physically and mentally, and thought I was in the clear. But will be back soon, better than ever.
“That’s rugby, I’m gutted for Joey as an individual,” Munster boss Johann van Graan told reporters on Wednesday. “He worked hard to get back into the position, he played the full 80 for the first time for quite a while and now he is out for a considerable amount of time.”
“He’ll be back, he’s a class man and a brilliant rugby player. He’ll come back stronger, take his time and I can’t wait to have him back in the future.”
Sexton is uncertain to be fit in time for Ireland’s Six Nations opener, with Farrell’s alternative options including Ulster’s Billy Burns and Leinster’s Ross Byrne.