England prop Andrew Sheridan faces an anxious wait to discover whether he will be fit for the 2010 Six Nations after dislocating his shoulder.
He will have reconstructive surgery on his left shoulder, which will sideline him for four months, on Wednesday.
England start their Six Nations campaign against Wales on 7 February and finish against Italy on 20 March.
The 29-year-old Sale prop was injured when a scrum collapsed in Friday's 27-26 Heineken Cup win over Cardiff.
"It's bad news for Andrew, England and Sale Sharks," said Sale director of rugby Kingsley Jones.
"He's a great presence around our team and he will be missed."
Sheridan suffered the injury in the 72nd minute of a bad-tempered match at Edgeley Road, with medical staff administering oxygen to him on the pitch as they attempted to put the 6ft 5in front-rower's left shoulder back in place.
It means England manager Martin Johnson will definitely be without one of his first-choice forwards for the autumn internationals against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand, which begin on 7 November at Twickenham.
Sheridan, who has 32 England caps, appeared to be in severe pain as he was helped off the pitch on Friday, to be replaced by Jack Forster.
Sheridan has suffered in the past with back and neck problems, and also broke his left ankle and sustained ligament damage while on England duty in 2006.
England boss Johnson already has several injury problems to contend with just a few weeks into the season, with Sheridan's regular front row partner Lee Mears the latest to be ruled out of the November internationals.
On Monday the Bath hooker joined fly-half Danny Cipriani, flanker Tom Rees, full-back Delon Armitage and centres Riki Flutey and Jordan Turner-Hall on the list of players definitely ruled out of the autumn internationals.
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