Ulster could be without star winger Jacob Stockdale until October after a hamstring injury ruled him out before the start of the new season.
The Irish international -- who was named Six Nations player of the tournament earlier this year -- is likely to miss six-to-eight weeks of action as he recovers from a grade two hamstring strain, the club announced on Twitter.
Ulster kick off the new season against the Scarlets on Sept. 1 but could be without Stockdale until well into their Pro14 campaign.
His projected return date would see him back in time for Ulster's European Champions Cup bid, which will include battles with Leicester Tigers, Racing 92 and the Scarlets once more.
Stockdale, 22, burst onto the international scene last season, scoring seven tries in a stunning Six Nations which saw Ireland lift the title by winning the Grand Slam.
Ireland face Italy in Chicago on Nov. 3 in the first of their Autumn internationals before they return to Dublin for clashes with Argentina, world champions New Zealand and the USA.