France's Xavier Garbajosa looks set for a long spell on the sidelines after revealing he is waiting for a meniscus transplant.
The 27-year-old Toulouse player, who can play either as a winger or at full-back and who has 32 international caps, has been plagued by a knee injury since March 2003 and was last seen in action for Les Bleus last September.
Despite making the trip to Australia for the World Cup, Garbajosa never appeared in the blue shirt and was forced to return to France in the middle of the tournament to try to find a solution to the problem.
At the start of 2004 the Frenchman thought rest would help him shake off the injury, but admits he is now planning a transplant for his damaged meniscus.
"After a series of further medical examinations and meetings with doctors I might have to think seriously about a meniscus transplant," Garbajosa said.
"I have put my name on a waiting list for being operated on by a Parisian expert."
Meanwhile, national coach Bernard Laporte will announce his 30-man squad ahead of the RBS 6 Nations tournament at the team's training headquarters in Marcoussis, near Paris, on Tuesday.
Laporte is expected to keep faith with most of the players from the World Cup, where France finished fourth.
However, Laporte is facing a second row injury crisis with new captain Fabien Pelous (knee), Olivier Brouzet (shoulder) and David Auradou (right calf) all doubtful for the opener against Ireland, while Jerome Thion is ruled out of the tournament following surgery on his Achilles.
England Under-20s head coach Martin Haag was full of praise for his World Rugby Under-20 Championship-winning side after Harry Mallinder inspired them to a 45-21 win over their Irish counterparts and a third title in four years.