Wales will be without Dan Lydiate for the rest of the Guinness Six Nations after Gethin Jenkins confirmed the flanker suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Ireland.
The 33-year-old Ospreys man was replaced by Josh Navidi just 12 minutes into his international return in Cardiff, three years on from his last appearance for his country.
Lydiate will now undergo a number of assessments and consultations in the coming days to establish the best course of management but he is expected to miss the rest of the season.
And having worked so hard to regain his place in the Wales starting line-up, Jenkins said he was gutted to see Lydiate leave the field so early in the 21-16 victory over Ireland.
“We watched him a lot over the Christmas period and he’s been the in-form six in Wales,” said Jenkins as the Wales defence coach spoke to media on Tuesday.
“To see that happen so innocently, the first thing you do is look at the clock and it’s probably 10 minutes gone and you knew he was going off.
“I was really gutted for him, obviously I have played with him, and you hope he gets well soon. It’s a tough pill to swallow for him and for us as a squad.”
Lydiate was not the only injury concern for Wayne Pivac following Sunday’s contest, with scrum-half Tomos Williams also coming off early after suffering a hamstring injury.
Williams is currently being assessed but he has already been ruled out of Wales’ fixture with Scotland on Saturday, with Johnny Williams and Hallam Amos also unavailable.
Jenkins expects Tomos Williams to miss a few games but George North, who scored a try against Ireland, is expected to be fit despite scratching an eye during the second half.
“He (Tomos Williams) has had a scan and it’s not a simple one,” said Jenkins. “He is probably going to be ruled out for a few games and we’ll go from there.”
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Scarlets centre Jonathan Davies is another player who will be missing at BT Murrayfield as he continues to recover from an ankle injury, while Dragons star Nick Tompkins is also a doubt.
Tompkins featured against Ireland but picked up a shoulder injury and with Owen Watkin the only other fit midfield man in the squad, Pivac may need to bring in reinforcements.
Further player call-ups will be made and announced in due course for Wales’ second game of the 2021 Championship, following the latest round of Covid-19 testing and results.