England back-row forward Luke Narraway is unlikely to play again until December because of a back injury.
The Gloucester star will undergo surgery on a bulging disc early next week, and he then faces around three months of rehabilitation.
Narraway, 26, is part of the England Saxons squad for this season, and he has been struggling with his back since earlier this summer when he had to leave an England training camp early.
He played in Gloucester's pre-season friendly against Connacht last month, but has received regular treatment since that game.
"Luke has been bothered by a bulging disc for a little while now," said Gloucester's head of medical services Bob Stewart.
"We had hoped rest and recuperation would do the trick.
"However, we've now come to the conclusion, after specialist opinion, that surgery is the most appropriate management at this stage and have booked Luke in for early next week.
"We anticipate that his rehabilitation period will be approximately 12 weeks."
Narraway's medical bulletin follows news that England centre Riki Flutey faces exploratory shoulder surgery on Monday amid fears that he could miss the autumn Tests.