Exeter Chiefs lock Damian Welch will be out for several months with a chest injury he sustained playing in the European Champions Cup.
The 33-year-old suffered a pectoral muscle injury, which requires surgery, in their defeat by Clermont Auvergne on 20 December.
"We will know more of the details post-operation," said head coach Rob Baxter.
"Damian is looking like he is out long-term, which is unfortunate. It's more likely to be months rather than weeks."
Welch joins Chiefs team-mates Henry Slade (broken leg), Luke Cowan-Dickie (broken thumb) and Dave Ewers (knee) on the Premiership club's long-term injury list.