Cardiff - Wales suffered yet another injury setback ahead of their Six Nations campaign after squad hooker Scott Baldwin was ruled out for the rest of the season on Thursday with a foot injury.
The Ospreys front row was among three hookers in the squad selected by coach Warren Gatland for the upcoming campaign, with Ken Owens starting in Saturday's Championship opener at home to Scotland and Elliot Dee on the bench at Cardiff's Principality Stadium.
"Scott Baldwin has been released from Wales' NatWest 6 Nations squad due to a foot injury sustained in training," said a Welsh Rugby Union statement.
"The injury will require surgery with a recovery time frame of at least five months.
"Scarlets hooker Ryan Elias, who made his international debut last summer, has been called into the squad."
Injuries have deprived Wales of several experienced internationals for the Scotland match, with Jonathan Davies, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb, Taulupe Faletau and former captain Sam Warburton among those ruled out.