Wales insist they have prepared to face an Italy team with Sergio Parisse in it at Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.
But that could all change later on Wednesday, with the Azzurri captain set to face a disciplinary hearing in Paris after being sent off playing for his club Stade Francais against Bordeaux-Begles last weekend.
Parisse was dismissed for allegedly insulting match referee Laurent Cardona, and he could land a minimum six-week ban, ruling him out of Italy's remaining RBS 6 Nations games this season against Wales, England and Ireland.
The 31-year-old has been an integral part of Italian teams since he made his Six Nations debut in 2005, and was once again a key performer during the victory over France earlier this month.
"We are preparing the same, regardless of whether Sergio Parisse is going to be playing," Wales' interim head coach Rob Howley said.
"We cannot control that decision. Parisse is world class and if he does not play it will have an impact, but we have to concentrate on putting our own house in order."
And Wales captain Ryan Jones added: "He's world class, there is no doubting that, and Italy rely on him heavily, as would any team he is in.
"He is a great athlete and he is very good in and around the set-piece. He's pretty special. We are preparing as though he is playing, and we will cross that bridge on Thursday."
Jones, meanwhile, is relishing the prospect of seeing Sam Warburton back in Test match action on Saturday.
Jones will lead his country for the 31st time, keeping the job despite Warburton - Wales' 2011 World Cup skipper and a Six Nations title and Grand Slam-winning captain last year - regaining full fitness following a shoulder injury.
In Warburton's absence, Wales beat France 16-6 last time out when Jones led the team to a memorable triumph and resulted in Howley naming an unchanged starting XV, with Warburton on bench duty this weekend.
Jones, though, is very much a reluctant hero, even though he has often been Wales' go-to man during a 71-cap international career that began more than eight years ago.
"The captaincy is only a title," the 31-year-old Ospreys star said.
"I am happy to be involved, and I am enjoying it. If the captaincy comes along, great, but it is just about contributing to the team and helping it be successful.
"Sam is a mate of mine, and I have always tried to be there for him since he took over as captain. We chat over various things.
"Sam is very much his own man. You have to be true and honest to yourself, and if you are not then you are found out pretty quickly. Rugby is ruthless.
"It is still Sam's team, if you like, and we want him to be confident and playing well."
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.