THE Scarlets could be without their skipper Rob McCusker for next month's Heineken Cup double header against Exeter Chiefs.
The North Walian back- rower has become the latest casualty of Wales's bruising autumn campaign after picking up an ankle injury.
McCusker has been wearing a protective boot and, although there has been no official confirmation from the Welsh Rugby Union, he is unlikely to play any further part in Wales's four-Test series.
The Scarlets are waiting on a medical assessment to see how long McCusker will be out for, but it is thought the injury could keep him sidelined for up to five weeks.
With flanker Josh Turnbull also set to miss the back-to-back matches against the Chiefs because of knee ligament injury picked up against Argentina, Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby will be keeping his fingers crossed that his other first-choice back-rower Aaron Shingler comes through the next matches against New Zealand and Australia unscathed.
With Shingler named on the bench for Wales's clash against the All Blacks on Saturday, Easterby will also be hoping that No. 8 Kieran Murphy can overcome the hip injury that forced him off during last weekend's LV= Cup win over the Blues ahead of Sunday's Pro12 meeting with Munster in Cork.
Wing Kristian Phillips (groin) and centre Gareth Owen (knee) are also doubts, but there is some positive news from the Parc y Scarlets treatment room.
Wales prop Rhodri Jones, who has been recovering from shoulder surgery, is set to be available for the visit of Ulster on December 2.