Exeter Chiefs lock Ollie Atkins has been ruled out for up to three months with knee ligament injury.
The 29-year-old Australian lock limped off during Exeter's 43-20 victory over Saracens in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
"He's got a pretty significant knee injury," said director of rugby Rob Baxter. "It's not going to require surgery, at least that's what initial scans show, but it is going to be one of those 8-12 week MCL ligament injuries."
Atkins has played seven times for the Chiefs this season, having returned to fitness last month.
"This is a great opportunity to get in a pre-season really," added Baxter. "In any other sport you'd say two months out is your opportunity to majorly work on other areas of your physical development and of your game and that's what Ollie's got to make sure he does now."
"This is two months added to the end of his career, not two months taken away from it"