Exeter Chiefs and Italy centre Michele Campagnaro may be ruled out for the remainder of this campaign due to knee ligament damage.
Campagnaro received the damage during a pre-season game against Cardiff. It looks as if he requires surgery on the injury which will also rule him out of next year’s Six Nations.
“Campo looks relatively serious,” Exeter coach Rob Baxter told the BBC . “I think he’s going to have to have an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) operation.”
“Everyone knows that’s a long-term, six to nine months type injury.”
The news comes after the Premiership champions suffered a last-minute defeat at Gloucester on Friday in their opening match of the new season.
Campagnaro joins a long injury list which includes Thomas Waldrom, James Short, Mitch Lees and England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie.
“The thing we’ve got with most of the other injuries is they’re guys who’ll be returning through the course of the season, so they’ll add impetus,” director of rugby Baxter told BBC Radio Devon.
“Shorty’s broken his hand, so that’s reduced our options, but we’ve got some minutes into Nowellsy [Jack Nowell] now.”