Saracens' ex-Great Britain rugby league star Andy Farrell will be out for eight weeks after undergoing toe surgery.
Farrell has yet to make his competitive debut for Saracens
Farrell, 30, picked up the injury in a training match a week before the start of the Guinness Premiership season and has yet to make his competitive debut.
He had explorative surgery on Wednesday which revealed deep bone bruising.
"Now that Andy has had the surgery, we're pleased that the healing process has begun and we look forward to having him back," said coach Mike Ford.
Farrell will miss several Guinness Premiership games, two Powergen Cup fixtures and Saracens' opening Heineken Cup encounters against Biarritz and Treviso.
England honours are also out of reach for the immediate future, with head coach Andy Robinson due to name his 30-man squad on Tuesday for the November Tests against Australia, New Zealand and Samoa.
"I've had frequent updates on Andy's injury and the England and Saracens medical teams have been in regular contact," said Robinson.
"Like everyone connected with his club and England, I would like to wish him a full and speedy recovery."