Leinster coach Michael Cheika is consigned to being without star centre Brian O'Driscoll for the province's first two Heineken Cup matches.
Ireland captain O'Driscoll dislocated his right shoulder in the British & Irish Lions' first Test loss the All Blacks in June, but following his operation last month, Cheika admitted the 26-year-old "is rehabbing very well."
The Australian said today: "Brian's putting in plenty of work but no date has been set (for his return). He will be back as soon as he can be.
"As for the medical side, we have a programme that we follow in rehabilitation and we prepare a player accordingly and what we consistently do is monitor him. We set a programme and then if he doesn't make the target that we are hoping we reset what our expectations are. I don't think there is any need for us to say he is going to be back by this date because it really does nothing for anyone," insisted the former Padova and Randwick coach.
"I, as a coach, portray a realistic view. Brian is rehabbing and working hard and he is trying to get back as soon as he can. He is not going to play in the first two Heineken Cup matches for us, and that is for certain. It would be great if he played in the autumn Tests for Ireland before our second phase of the Heineken Cup, but I would say it is touch and go," Cheika added.
Leinster open the Pool 5 account at home to Bath on October 22, before facing Glasgow at Hughenden, eight days later.