Wales lock Luke Charteris is a serious doubt for next summer’s Lions tour of Australia.
The Perpignan star reportedly ruptured medial knee ligaments during his side’s Top 14 clash with Montpellier on Saturday.
Charteris is expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season, effectively ruling him out of the trip Down Under.
The 29-year-old former Newport Gwent Dragons star rose to real prominence with a series of stunning performances at the 2011 World Cup and was being tipped to earn selection for Britain and Ireland’s elite in 2013.
But he now seems destined to miss the cut for Warren Gatland’s squad, with selection set to take place towards the end of April.
Charteris joins fellow Welsh internationals and Lions hopefuls Rhys Priestland, Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans and Dan Lydiate for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, with Priestland not expected to be fit to tour Oz, either.
Second rows Jones and Evans are hoping to play some part in the Six Nations, as is blindside flanker Lydiate who was named player of the tournament last time out.
Lions prop Adam Jones handed Wales a boost by returning from his own injury lay off in the Ospreys’ win over Toulouse just over a week ago but the man who replaced him in the autumn Tests, Aaron Jarvis, is out of action with a serious knee complaint.