Ireland full back Rob Kearney is likely to miss out on Ireland’s Six Nations having undergone surgery on his knee.

Kearney suffered the injury during Ireland’s match with the New Zealand All Blacks, in November. It now seems that the 24-year-old will face a lengthy lay off.

The statement issued by Leinster on Wednesday said “After his surgery last week, Rob Kearney seems set to sit out the next few months on the sidelines.”

There is now a major doubt as to whether he will be fit to play against Italy on February 5, 2011.

This is bad news for Ireland’s coach Declan Kidney but also devastating news for Leinster coach, Joe Schmidt, who is already missing Luke Fitzgerald ahead of the Heineken Cup match with Clermont Auvergne next month.

Irish captain Brian O’Driscoll, it is hoped, will receive better news on his fitness-front. O’Driscoll suffered a suspected broken jaw against Argentina on Sunday. An update on his condition will be issued on Thursday.