New Connacht signing Api Pewhairangi has been ruled out for three months because of a cruciate ligament injury.
And two days out from their Pro12 opener against Dragons at the Sportsground (7.30pm), Pat Lam is planning without Darragh Leader (hand) and Niyi Adeolokun (knee), while Dave McSharry is also a doubt because of a concussion.
Pewhairangi made the switch from Rugby League to join Connacht this summer, but has been ruled out until December at the earliest following a partial rupture of his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his knee.
The New Zealand-born Irish rugby league international picked up the injury playing for Connacht in their pre-season tussle with Castres
“Api Pewhairangi, his knee, there is a partial rupture to his ACL. So it is going to be long-term rehab but it could be up to three months,” said Lam.
“For Api, I feel sorry for him, he was going well too. In the Castres game he had just one of those contact injuries. He carried the ball up and it got twisted so it was unfortunate for him. That is the nature of our game. The contact injuries you can’t avoid.
“Niyi Adeolokun has a PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) strain on his knee. He had precautionary scope last week to repair minor damage. He is expected back in maybe four weeks.
“Dave McSharry suffered a concussion in the Munster game so he is continuing to go through the return to play protocols and there is a question mark over him this week.
“And Darragh Leader had a ligament strain, saw a consultant and he is in plaster now. So he is unavailable for three weeks. The rest of the long-terms are still there,” said Connacht coach Pat Lam.