Australia centre Matt Giteau is not expected to return to action for his club, Toulon, until close to Christmas after breaking his ankle.
Giteau was forced off the field in the early stages of last weekend's one-sided defeat to New Zealand.
The 33-year-old will return to France ahead of surgery at the start of next week, Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal confirmed to AFP on Tuesday.
Giteau will therefore miss most of the early months of Toulon's Top 14 campaign, as well as a high number of their Champions Cup pool matches.
His absence will be a major blow for the three-time European champions, who lost their opening game of the season to Top 14 newcomers Bayonne last Sunday.