Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said scrum-half Joe Simpson was not expected to take part in any rugby for up to six weeks, after he sustained an ankle injury last weekend.
The original expectation had been that Simpson would wait in the wings during the upcoming Six Nations campaign, in the event of an unexpected injury to one of the chosen scrum-halves for this year's tournament. It now seems unlikely he will get that opportunity, given what has recently transpired.
"Joe's ankle is quite swollen so the scan didn't give us as much information as we'd have liked," Young told Press Association Sport.
"It's safe to say he's probably looking at four to six weeks as a minimum. If the surgeon feels he needs an operation then it could be a little bit longer," added Young.
This is not the first time that Simpson has been adversely affected by injury. However, Young remains confident that he will feature prominently in future England teams.
"You just can't help but feel sorry for him because he always seems to pick up an injury at the wrong time," said Young.
"He was disappointed obviously not to be in the squad, but you can see there were only two nines in there, so the likelihood of going through this whole campaign with two nines was probably remote.
"So I'd like to believe he would have been the next cab off the rank. I believe he would have had some involvement, so hopefully he could be back in four to six weeks so it doesn't rule him out. Anything longer than that and he'd have to be aiming for the tour at the end of the year. It's very similar to his situation before the World Cup really, but I'm sure his time will come."