England's injury problems are mounting ahead of their autumn series after Riki Flutey was ruled out today with Delon Armitage potentially facing a similar fate.
Flutey's involvement in the fixtures against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand is over because of a shoulder injury that requires up to three months of rehabilitation.
The British & Irish Lions centre underwent an arthroscopic examination of his left shoulder labrum this morning which revealed the extent of the damage.
A statement released by England read: "The surgeon has concluded, in conjunction with the England and Brive medical teams, that Riki will be unavailable for a period of up to three months.
"It is therefore unlikely that he will be able to prepare or take part in England's Investec Challenge internationals in November."
Flutey initially sustained the injury in January but was able to play through the RBS 6 Nations and Lions tour, although he later admitted he was unable to perform at 100%.
The loss of the 29-year-old, who made his Test debut last November, is a significant blow to Martin Johnson given his growing influence in England's midfield.
A problem position since the retirement of Will Greenwood, Flutey began making an impact at inside centre in the second half of the RBS 6 Nations.