Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has confirmed England wing Jack Nowell is likely to miss the start of the 2016/17 season.
The 23-year-old, who was part of the victorious England side that won 3-0 against Australia in June, recently underwent surgery on a thumb injury.
Whilst it is unclear at this stage just how long the Cornishman will be sidelined for, Baxter has already resigned himself to the fact that Nowell is likely to miss the three pre-season games, as well as the opening weeks of the campaign.
"Jack Nowell is out after an operation on an injured thumb so he is going to be out for a while," Baxter told Exeter's official website.
"It is potentially something like an eight-to-10 week injury. Other than him though, we are looking pretty good and have a pretty good squad for the start of the season."
The Chiefs kick-off their pre-season this Saturday when the Scarlets are the visitors to Sandy Park.