Ireland utility back Fergus McFadden has become his country’s latest injury victim after he was ruled out of Saturday’s tie with Italy in Rome.
McFadden fractured his ribs in the draw with France at the weekend and definitely won’t be available for the trip to the Stadio Olimpico.
The news comes on the back of Eoin Reddan’s broken leg that sees the scrum-half sidelined for three months.
Leinster’s Reddan’s fell awkwardly under a tackle and was given oxygen before being carried from the field, although he remarkably attempted to play on but collapsed as he put pressure on his leg.
Ireland are awaiting further news on injuries to Donncha Ryan, Luke Marshall, Brian O’Driscoll, Peter O'Mahony and Conor Murray ahead of the final round of Championship action, while star names Paul O’Connell, Stephen Ferris, Gordon D’Arcy and Tommy Bowe won’t feature and Jonathan Sexton remains a doubt with a hamstring problem.
"We took a conscious decision that we would not complain about things," said head coach Declan Kidney.
"Other people are worse off than we are, plus it is such an insult to the lads coming on and having a huge go.
"We are frustrated, but there are lads coming in who have no experience at this level under their belts and are doing such a good job for us.
"On any given day Paul O'Connell, Tommy Bowe, Stephen Ferris and Jonathan Sexton would be in the running for a Lions spot.
"I have never experienced an injury run like this, but you work your way through and I spoke to Jamie Heaslip about it and we agreed not complain."
Second row Ryan has bruising on his AC joint, scrum-half Murray is struggling with a sore knee, flanker O’Mahony suffered a dead leg and centres Marshall and O’Driscoll both have possible concussion.
O’Driscoll also finished the game against France with a dead leg and a cut ear but it would be a surprise if those injuries kept him out of what critics fear could be his last Irish appearance before potential retirement.
2009 Lions skipper O’Connell hopes to make his long-awaited comeback from a back injury when Munster A face Leinster A in Limerick tomorrow – too late to help Ireland’s Championship cause but early enough to raise hopes that he might yet be in the running for a third successive Lions tour this summer.