British & Irish Lions hopeful Jason White may miss the start his club's Guinness Premiership campaign as he recovers from operations to his knee and shoulder
White underwent surgery in the close season and was expected to take his place in the back row when Sale kick off their league challenge against Jonny Wilkinson's Falcons on September 7.
The Scotland captain missed his country's summer tour to Argentina and has handed the Sale armband to Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, heightening speculation of his absence for the season opener at Edgely Park.
But White is expected to return in time for the European Challenge Cup kick-off in October. He will then have the chance to show Lions coach Ian McGeechan what he can do ahead of the 2009 tour to South Africa.
White was an uncapped tourist to New Zealand in 2005 after being brought in to replace the injured Richard Hill.