Sale Sharks Fly-Half AJ MacGinty has undergone a shoulder operation and is expected to be out of action for three months.
The 28-year-old USA international originally suffered the injury to his shoulder whilst playing for the USA Eagles during the summer.
MacGinty's attempts to rehabilitate the injury through non-surgical methods have proven unsuccessful.
Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond commented: “AJ had an operation last week to avoid any further complications with his injury, His anticipated return will be in around twelve weeks time and the club sends its best wishes to him for a speedy and complete recovery.”
MacGinty's injury leaves the Sharks short-handed at fly-half, with centre Sam James expected to once again step into the Irish-born playmaker's shoes.
During their Challenge Cup fixture against Perpignan, Diamond handed the reigns at ten to 19-year-old Kieran Wilkinson, backed up by 18-year-old Connor Doherty while James filled the 15 jersey.
With Chris Ashton available for selection to Diamond for the first time since arriving from Toulon after picking up a seven-week ban during pre-season, James will pinball back into the fly-half berth.
The long-term knee injury sustained to would-be England summer tourist Cameron Redpath makes the injury to MacGinty all the more painful for Sale, with the son of former Scottish international, Bryan, covering both fly-half and inside centre.