Alex Corbisiero is set to miss the entire Six Nations due to a recurring knee injury.
The England prop has been struggling the problem since the summer tour of South Africa.
He started for Stuart Lancaster’s men in the autumn clashes with South Africa and New Zealand and was selected in the Red Rose Championship squad.
He underwent surgery to remove a “loose body” in the knee and Lancaster was hopeful Corbisiero would be available for the latter stages of the tournament.
But his London Irish head coach Brian Smith has revealed he will be sidelined for up to 10-weeks and will subsequently miss the Championship.
"Unfortunately for Corbs he had further surgery,” said Smith.
“The information our medical team have been given is that it is likely to be a 10-week injury.
"I'd like to think he could get back on the park for us before the end of the season. There are still major question marks about that. He has a significant injury and he needs to be managed well."
England have called up Sale prop Henry Thomas to provide temporary injury cover for Corbisiero.
They kick-off their campaign against Scotland at Twickenham on February 2. Joe Marler and Mako Vunipola are now the frontrunners to pack down at loosehead against the auld enemy.