Tadhg Beirne, the second row for Ireland, suffered an ankle injury against France on Saturday and will now miss the rest of the Six Nations.
In the second half of Ireland’s 32-19 victory over France at the Aviva Stadium, Beirne, 31, staggered off the field.
His need for surgery, which would likely keep him out of play for 12 weeks, was confirmed by the IRFU.
Ireland’s remaining matches against Scotland, England, and Italy will be played without Beirne.
Also, the Munster player will be compelled to miss matches in the United Rugby Championship and the province’s Heineken Champions Cup round of 16 match at Sharks in April.
Under head coach Andy Farrell, Beirne has started the previous 14 games for Ireland. He departed the match against France on crutches.
Iain Henderson, the captain of Ulster, took Beirne’s place against France and may team up with James Ryan against Italy.
Ryan Baird and Joe McCarthy of Leinster, as well as Cian Prendergast of Connacht, are Farrell’s other alternatives.