Sale prop Andrew Sheridan will miss England's two summer Tests in Australia but should be fit for next season after learning he does not need neck surgery.
Sheridan destroyed the Aussie front row last November
Sheridan was upbeat about the results of a scan on the disc he damaged on England duty during the Six Nations.
"The specialist said I do not need an operation and that general conditioning should give me a very good chance of being fit for next season," he said.
"Any time you can avoid an operation it's good news."
Sheridan joins a lengthening list of England players who will be unavailable for the June Tests in Sydney and Melbourne.
Ben Cohen, Steve Thompson, Josh Lewsey have all opted for a summer of rest, Lawrence Dallaglio needs an operation, Matt Stevens is injured, neither Jonny Wilkinson and Phil Vickery will be considered while Steve Borthwick is also doubtful.
Head coach Andy Robinson must also decide whether captain Martin Corry needs a rest, along with Sheridan's Sale team-mates Charlie Hodgson and Mark Cueto - all members of the Lions squad last summer.
"They've been playing non-stop rugby and I don't know whether they need to go but it's up to them to discuss it with Andy Robinson," said Sale coach Kingsley Jones.
Jones believes though that his England fringe players, Chris Jones and Andy Titterell, "deserve to go and want to go".
Sheridan's injury caused controversy between Sale and England because it was originally sustained while he was training with England - but he went on to play against Ireland.
Sale coach Philippe Saint-Andre said: "If he hadn't played against Ireland, the damage may not have been so bad."
The Rugby Football Union said Sheridan's injury had not been detected despite several examinations.
"Andrew Sheridan was comprehensively examined by the England medical team on a number of occasions during the Ireland Test week," read its statement.
"Neither the England medical staff or the player identified any significant medical concerns that warranted further investigation or precluded him from playing against Ireland."