Harlequins and England players Chris Robshaw and Mike Brown look likely to miss England’s Six Nations opener against Italy next month.
Blindside flanker Robshaw and fullback Brown join the list of players unavailable to head coach Eddie Jones through injuries and bans.
Robshaw is suffering from a back injury while worryingly Brow is struggling with blurred vision.
Robshaw has spent a lot of time in the pool, but he’s borderline to play rugby. Brown is doing light skills but he’s borderline too,” said Jones on Wednesday.
This brings the list of injured England players to 15, with tighthead prop Kyle Sinckler (6-7 weeks) and centre Henry Slade (4-weeks) both ruled out with hamstring and shoulder injuries respectively.
England have won all 23 meetings with Italy and will be strong favourites to maintain their 100% record when they launch their bid for a third Six Nations title in a row.