England prop Phil Vickery will miss the start of the RBS 6 Nations despite undergoing successful neck surgery.
The Wasps front row requires a minimum three months of rehabilitation from the injury sustained in the 18-13 win over Racing Metro on October 11.
With England opening their RBS 6 Nations against Wales on February 6, Vickery has little hope of forcing his way back into the Test team until later in the tournament.
But Wasps director of rugby Tony Hanks is backing the 33-year-old to make a complete recovery from his latest injury setback.
"It was a long, invasive operation but the medical guys have reported to us that it was very, very good. They are very happy and Phil is very happy," he said.
"How he’s been doing what he’s been doing, for Wasps, England and the Lions, in the condition and pain he was in, I don’t know.
"But Phil is a bit special and if anyone can come back from this sort of operation it’s Phil. That’s certainly his intent.
"He knows he can do the rehab, he’s done it before. He needs to go through the rehab whether he plays again or not, but he’s really enjoying his rugby and he wants to play again.
"He's still a pup really. He thinks he’s still got a lot to offer and so do we.
"If the medical advice suggested any player was risking long-term health we’d support the decision to knock it on the head.
"But we’ve got no reason to have that conversation with Phil."
Danny Cipriani will begin running next week as he continues his rehabilitation from a hairline fracture in his right fibula.