Double Lions tourist Phil Vickery has become the latest Lion to face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The veteran prop requires neck surgery and will be out of action for more than three months.
The London Wasps tight head will miss England’s autumn internationals against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand after he complained of neck pain the weekend before last.
Vickery suffered the injury during his club’s Amlin Challenge Cup win over Racing Metro 02 on October 11, with the Wasps medical staff later deciding that surgery would be the best option for the 33-year-old.
"It was deemed necessary that Phil should be reviewed further by a consultant neurosurgeon and subsequently a collective decision by Phil, the consultant, Wasps medical team and England has been made this week to progress with surgery to his neck," read a Wasps statement.
Vickery, who first toured with the Lions in 2001 and then again in 2009, had been expected to start for his country against the Wallabies on November.
His withdrawal is further bad news for former Lions skipper and England team manager Martin Johnson who has seen Vickery’s fellow Lions front rowers Andrew Sheridan and Lee Mears also ruled out with injury in the space of 24 hours.