Munster second row Donncha O'Callaghan has been ruled out of Ireland's RBS 6 Nations clash with England at Twickenham on March 6.
O'Callaghan limped off during the first half of Sunday's 36-15 victory over Wales after straining the medial ligament in his right knee and will not recover in time for the repeat of last season's Grand Slam decider.
But a scan has revealed the damage is not as bad as first feared and the rookie 24-year-old forward, who has edged veteran lock Malcolm O'Kelly out of the starting line-up, should be given the all-clear for Italy on March 20.
Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan has added eight players to his squad for training this week - Gavin Duffy, Rob Henderson, Anthony Horgan, John Kelly, Bernard Jackman, Gary Longwell, Matt McCullough and Neil McMillan.
O'Sullivan will announce his final 22-man squad for the clash on Friday.
After missing out on England's 2015 RBS 6 Nations campaign through injury, centre Brad Barritt admits he is determined to make up for that disappointment in style with club side Saracens during the season run-in.