Bath and England forward Dave Attwood is set to miss between 10 and 12 weeks of the season after undergoing surgery on a long-standing neck injury. Attwood has played seven times this campaign, but has suffered with neck problems throughout.
The 28-year-old lock missed out on selection for the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and after going under the knife to repair a bulging disk, he will not now be available to new England coach Eddie Jones for the Six Nations, according to the BBC. He was forced to leave the field during a game against Worcester Warriors on 27 December after playing just 11 minutes from the bench, and it was subsequently decided surgery was the best course of action.
The injury means Attwood has joined an ever-growing list of absentees for England's first game of the Six Nations against Scotland on February 6. Henry Slade, Kieran Brookes, Jonny May, Dave Ewers and Alex Corbisiero are all likely to miss the game, while Manu Tuilagi is a considered a doubt as he continues his return from a groin injury.
Meanwhile, another potential absentee is Leicester Tigers's Ed Slater, who picked up a knee injury during a match last weekend against Saracens. Slater is uncapped at international level, but was thought to be in contention for a call-up under England's new regime.