Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill expects Manu Tuilagi to be back in action by around the end of December.
The England back was sorely missed by his country during the November Tests.
A groin injury has kept Tuilagi on the sidelines in recent weeks but the 23-year-old should be fighting fit by February for the Six Nations .
Cockerill added that Tuilagi’s impact for England had been huge in recent years and that they would be an improved side with the Leicester centre involved.
“Manu will probably be fit by the end of December, give or take a week or two,” Cockerill told reporters on Tuesday.
“In the modern game you’ve got to be able to dent the line of the opposition… when it’s a stalemate you need physicality. That’s the reality of it and Manu gives you that.
“When England have played at their best Manu has been huge for them.
“Hopefully he’ll be back playing at Christmas time and be back into the England squad for the Six Nations.”
“The midfield is the biggest problem England have got and Manu solves one position. He’s the best 13 and then you have to decide who’s the best at 12.
“Thankfully that’s someone else’s problem.”