London - Ireland prop Cian Healy looks set to miss the start of next year's Six Nations tournament after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury.
The problem forced Healy to withdraw from Leinster's starting line-up shortly before kick-off of last weekend's European Cup win over Northampton and he had already been declared unfit for Saturday's return fixture in Dublin.
Leinster have now revealed Healy had the operation on his right ankle on Wednesday and isn't expected to be fully fit for up to eight weeks.
The 26-year-old will likely miss Ireland's opening Six Nations fixtures in Dublin against Scotland on February 2 and Wales on February 8, although he could be fit in time to face England at Twickenham on February 22.
"Cian had ankle surgery on Wednesday so he's unavailable for about eight weeks. He's doing good but he won't play for a while," Leinster coach Matt O'Connor said on Thursday.
Healy had surgery on his left ankle earlier this year to correct an injury sustained on the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia and has made just four appearances for Leinster this season.