Finn Russell will reportedly miss the Autumn Nations Cup because of a groin injury but will back in time for 2021 Six Nations, according to Scottish rugby correspondent Rob Robertson.
His teammate and fellow fly-half Adam Hastings will also miss the tournament and the Six Nations after a serious shoulder injury.
Both players suffered their injuries during their Six Nations win against Wales at the weekend, which secured a fourth place finish.
The Scots face Italy, France and Fiji this month.
“Finn we hope will be back in time for the Six Nations, but it’s unlikely Adam will be back before the end of that tournament,” head coach Townsend told BBC Scotland.
“At the very best he’ll come back at the end, but that will depend on how things go.”
Scotland open their Six Nations away to England on 6 February.
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The 36 Lions players who will head to South Africa, according to the odds
- Josh Adams (Wales) – 1/10
- Jonny May (England) – 1/10
- Stuart Hogg (Scotland) – 4/11
- Anthony Watson (England) – 4/7
- Liam Williams (Wales) – 4/6
- Elliot Daly (England) – 8/11
- Jonathan Davies (Wales) – 2/5
- Manu Tuilagi (England) – 1/2
- Garry Ringrose (Ireland) – 1/2
- Henry Slade (England) – 4/6
- Owen Farrell (England) -1/20
- Johnny Sexton (Ireland) – 8/11
- Finn Russell (Scotland) – 10/11