Bristol scrum-half Shaun Perry has missed out on an England debut against Australia next month after being ruled out for two months with a wrist injury.
Perry has been nominated for the Premiership player of the year
Perry sustained the problem when he collided with an advertising hoarding against Newcastle a month ago.
An X-ray the following day and a scan a week later showed no damage, but a further visit to a specialist and an MRI scan showed a fractured scaphoid.
Perry is likely to undergo surgery on Monday, the day the squad is announced.
"I'm gutted, as you can imagine," Perry said. "Touring with England would have been a dream come true and capped an amazing season. But the wrist wasn't right so it's important to get it sorted.
"I'm just looking forward now to getting fit, having a good pre-season and getting stuck into next season with Bristol.
"If I'm fit and performing well enough then hopefully I can force my way back into the England reckoning for the autumn internationals."
With Matt Dawson retiring, England's scrum-half resources are threadbare, with Harry Ellis now likely to retain the number nine jersey.
Untried Gloucester scrum-half Peter Richards and the previously discarded Andy Gomarsall could now find themselves on the plane to Australia.
With half-a-dozen players either injured or staying at home, there was one bright spot for England coach Andy Robinson.
Sale wing Mark Cueto said that unlike Josh Lewsey, Ben Cohen and Steve Thompson, he is keen to be included in the party for the two-Test trip.
"If selected then without a doubt I'd want to go," he said. "If 'Robbo' (Andy Robinson) wants me to go then I'm definitely available.
"I don't know anyone who would turn down playing for their country."
Cueto enjoyed a magnificent debut season for England last year, scoring eight tries in as many Tests as well as 20 in 26 games for Sale to earn a late call-up to the Lions tour.
But the 26-year-old has endured a leaner time this season, notching just eight tries in 21 club games to date.
"I feel quite good at the moment," he added. "A month ago I was feeling quite tired, not just physically but psychologically as well.
"I was finding it difficult to get my head on to games but the size of the squad here at Sale is a big advantage this year."