Bristol Bears scrum-half Harry Randall is expected to be sidelined for up to eight weeks following an ankle injury.
The 23-year-old was part of England's 28-man Six Nations squad ahead of the opening game against Scotland but now is expected to be out of action until May according to Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam.
“Unfortunately, Harry is going to be out for probably another seven, eight weeks, which is obviously frustrating,” Lam said.
“At the moment, it’s eight weeks. The surgeon is comfortable that it doesn’t need surgery, otherwise it would have been 12 weeks.
“We saw him and a couple of others down there in the gym this morning, so he is trekking away on that road to recovery.”
Earlier, the Rugby Football Union and Premiership Rugby reached an agreement to limit the Six Nations squad to 28 members due to Coronavirus measures which meant Bristol full-back Max Malins and back-row Ben Earl remain with the national side despite limited game time.
“Max Malins has played 27 minutes in 10 weeks, and Ben Earls has played 45 minutes of rugby in eight weeks, and by the time they get back it is going to be 12 weeks.
“Hopefully, they are going to get some game-time, but if not, that will be our biggest challenge when they get back.
“By the time they get back, we are going into the home stretch with big games in Europe and the Premiership.
“People are going to expect them to be at their best, but that is always going to be difficult when they haven’t had much game-time."
Bristol hold the top place in the Gallagher Premiership table with eight wins from 11 games.