England will be without Chris Robshaw for the Six Nations after it was confirmed he needs surgery on his left shoulder.
The flanker suffered the injury while playing for Harlequins against Worcester on New Year's Day and was unable to take part in the Red Rose's recent training camp in Brighton.
Quins have confirmed he will now go under the knife to cure the problem and they now expect him to miss the next 12 weeks.
However, the west Londoners are confident he will play again this season and the back-rower will be keen to make it back with him seen as a candidate to take part in this summer's British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.
The news means the 30-year-old is highly unlikely to play a part in England's Six Nations defence and his injury comes as a further blow to boss Eddie Jones.
Jones is already waiting on news of both Billy and Mako Vunipola ahead of his side's opening clash against France on February 4, while fellow Saracen George Kruis is also a doubt.