Croft has played in three successive Premiership finals for the Tigers
England flanker Tom Croft is likely to miss the Six Nations as he continues to recover after fracturing his shoulder blade in November.
The 25-year-old Leicester player has been sidelined since suffering the injury in the Test defeat by South Africa at Twickenham.
The club's director of rugby Richard Cockerill says the injury will require another six to eight weeks to heal.
England open their Six Nations campaign against Wales on 4 February.
That match will almost certainly come too soon for him, though there remains a slim chance he could feature at some stage, with the last round of fixtures seeing England face Ireland on 19 March.
If Croft fails to recover in time, he could be replaced on the blind-side by Leeds' Hendre Fourie or James Haskell of Stade Francais.
The Tigers player had set up club-and-country colleague Toby Flood to kick England's first points in the 21-11 loss to the Springboks.
And his absence will be a blow to manager Martin Johnson who will have to do without a player who proved his worth during an autumn international series that included a comprehensive victory over Australia.
Croft, who made his England debut against France in February 2008, also featured in the Lions' tour of South Africa in 2009, but missed out on the 2010 Six Nations because of a knee injury.