England wing David Strettle faces up to seven weeks sidelined after sustaining another foot injury.
Strettle went off during his club’s Harlequins’ Guinness Premiership victory over Worcester last Thursday.
A specialist has now confirmed a recurrence of Strettle’s metatarsal injury sustained during the RBS 6 Nations Championship opener between England and Wales at Twickenham eight months ago.
Strettle though, has been advised that while surgery is not needed, further investigative work on his foot will be required.
“The advice which has been given is to rest, with no surgical intervention being required,” said Quins in a statement.
“However, because it is a repeat of the previous injury, there will be further investigative work done to try to help prevent the likelihood of any further recurrence of this particular injury.
“David will be expected to be out of action for the next five-seven weeks.”
Strettle misses Quins’ opening Heineken Cup matches against the Scarlets and Ulster, and has little chance of featuring in England’s autumn Tests next month.
He is currently part of the second-string England Saxons squad and could only have been promoted to manager Martin Johnson’s elite 32-strong group as replacement for an injured player.
Strettle suffered an initial foot injury while on England pre-World Cup training duty in Bath last year, which ruled him out of contention for the tournament.
He was then hurt again, barely 15 minutes into the Wales Six Nations clash, and sat out the rest of the competition.
Strettle, who scored a try on his international debut against Ireland last year, also missed both Tests of England’s 2007 South Africa tour after he was taken ill when a virus swept through the camp.