Wales have been handed a major injury blow with the news that prop Adam Jones has been ruled out of their demanding Autumn series of Test matches.
Jones, regarded as one of the finest scrummagers in world rugby, will miss games against Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia due to a knee problem, the Welsh Rugby Union have confirmed.
Jones went off early in the second half during the Ospreys' Heineken Cup defeat against Leicester on Sunday and now faces a lay-off of up to 10 weeks.
The 31-year-old had been due to travel with his Wales team-mates to Poland this weekend for a training camp but will instead focus on regaining full fitness prior to his country's 6 Nations title defence.
Jones, who has won 83 caps and played in two Tests for the British and Irish Lions on their 2009 South Africa tour, originally injured his knee last month.
But his early exit against Leicester set alarm bells ringing, and concerns over his fitness were sufficient for Wales to draft uncapped Scarlets prop Samson Lee into their squad as cover for Jones in Poland.
A decision on whether Lee now joins the autumn Test squad permanently, or another player is called up, will be made at a later date.