O'Connell set for Ireland tour absence
Ireland look set to be without Paul O'Connell for the summer tour of New Zealand after he picked up a serious-looking knee injury.
The 32-year-old lock limped out of Munster's 36-8 PRO12 victory over Ulster on Friday evening which secured the side a semi-final clash with Ospreys on Friday night.
And, while O'Connell, who will undergo a scan on the knee this week, has not been officially ruled out for any specific period of time, initial reports claim it is serious enough to rule him out of his country's three-Test series against New Zealand in June.
It is the latest injury that O'Connell has had to contend with this year after suffering a problem with the same knee during a Six Nations clash against France.
"He was assisted off the field so that's a good indicator, not a good sign," said Munster coach Tony McGahan. "It's the same knee, but the injury he had before was more of a cut, an infection in there - this one is more of a twist, so we will have to wait and see."
Ireland are due to jet off to New Zealand following a pre-tour clash against Barbarians in Gloucester on May 29 before their series against the All Blacks starts in Auckland on June 9. The two other matches will take place in Christchurch on June 16 and Hamilton on June 23.