Leicester Tigers and England have been dealt with the blow that Ellis Genge faces a considerable amount of time on the sidelines due to injury.
Genge has undergone knee surgery after picking up an injury during training with England in June’s tour of South Africa.
The prop is not expected to make a comeback until 2019 which means he will miss the first half of the season with the Tigers and also the November internationals with England.
The injury occurred in the build-up to the second Test against the Springboks in Bloemfontein.
“Gengey has had the operation and everything went well from that point of view. He’s well into his rehab work now and then he’ll start fitness work and building up to play again,” Matt O’Connor told the club’s website.
“But he will miss the first phase of the season and we’re probably looking at him playing again in the new year at this stage. But he’s working hard on his recovery and will be good to go when he comes through that rehab.
“It is obviously very disappointing for him and for us, but I’m sure he’ll be raring to go once he gets back to full fitness and we know there’s still a lot to come from him.”
O’Connor is also sweating on the fitness of Graham Kitchener who had surgery on his hip during the summer but the head coach is hopeful that he will be fit in time for the Tigers’ season opener against the Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.