Julian White did his Lions chances no favours as he saw red for punching England team-mate Andrew Sheridan on Saturday afternoon.
The Leicester prop felled his Sale opponent just 24 minutes into an entertaining Guinness Premiership encounter at Welford Road and could now face a ban of up to two months.
Such a hefty suspension would see the 35-year-old unable to compete until the beginning of June and would therefore rule him out of the early part of this summer’s Lions tour to South Africa.
With Ian McGeechan set to name his Lions squad on April 21, even a minimum-term suspension of two weeks could damage White’s hopes of making a second successive tour.
Having been a Test starter for the Lions against the All Blacks four years ago, White could claim to have a realistic chance of making the touring party once more, but the outcome of a disciplinary hearing following his fourth sending off in seven years may take that opportunity away from him.
As well as making life difficult for himself as far as the Lions are concerned, White could miss out on his club’s attempts to win a domestic and European double.
The Tigers look set for a semi-final spot in the Guinness Premiership and are in Heineken Cup quarter-final action against Bath this weekend but White could well have made his final contribution of the season if the RFU panel feel his actions deserve a high-end punishment.