Charlie Hodgson, a Lion in 2005, has been dealt a major blow after fracturing his foot.
The England and Sale fly-half, who made four appearances for the Lions during the 2005 tour of New Zealand, is set for an extended period on the sidelines.
He is certain to miss a busy festive period, which includes back-to-back Amlin Cup encounters with Brive and Aviva Premiership ties with Leicester and Saracens.
"Charlie Hodgson has suffered a small fracture of the foot," said a statement on the Sale Sharks' website.
"He's likely to be out of action until well into the New Year. Charlie was wearing protective casing on his foot last week, when it was hoped that his injuries were bruising and swelling, but X-rays have delivered a more serious verdict."