Nick Easter has been ruled out of England's Test tour of New Zealand after suffering a fracture to his right hand.
The Harlequins number eight was injured during England's laboured win over the Barbarians at Twickenham last weekend.
Specialists cleared Easter to fly to Auckland with the squad on Monday - but England officials confirmed today the injury failed to settle as anticipated.
As a result, the 29-year-old will return home to seek further treatment. England's stand-in team manager Rob Andrew will not be calling in a replacement.
"I'm obviously very disappointed to leave the tour," said Easter, who captained the England XV against the Barbarians.
"Like all the players in the squad, I was competing for a place to face the All Blacks - which is always a massive challenge and one I was really looking forward to.
"The chances to tour here don't come around very often, but it's essential that I get my hand sorted out. I'd like to wish the England squad all the best."
England tackle the All Blacks in Auckland next Saturday, before travelling to Christchurch for the second Test on June 21.
Easter's departure is set to open the door for the likes of Gloucester loose-forward Luke Narraway to compete with Leicester's Tom Croft and Wasps back row James Haskell.
Andrew added: "On behalf of the whole squad, I'd like to wish Nick a speedy recovery. I won't be flying in anyone to replace Nick, because we brought out seven back-row forwards for the tour - so we have sufficient cover."
Easter has won 16 England caps since making his Test debut against Italy in the 2007 RBS 6 Nations.
Easter, who scored during England's 17-14 win in a feisty game against the Barbarians, injured the second metacarpal on his right hand. He leaves for England after just four days in New Zealand.
He joins Wasps duo Danny Cipriani and Paul Sackey and Leicester centre Dan Hipkiss in withdrawing from the tour due to injury.
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