Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has confirmed that prop Craig Mitchell is set for a spell on the sidelines through injury.
The Welsh international sustained the injury to his pectoral muscle when he came on as a replacement during Monday night's Aviva Premiership A League victory over London Wasps.
Speaking after watching the Chiefs defeat London Irish at the Madejski Stadium, Baxter said: "'Mitch is looking a pretty long-term injury. We haven't finalised the exact issue with Craig yet, but he is likely to require an operation on his shoulder/pec area - an injury very similar to what he did playing for us up at London Welsh last year.
"His absence is likely to be quite lengthy, but we're hopeful that Dave Ewers will probably be available next week. He got a bit of a tweak to his hamstring in training earlier this week, so we've not risked him today and given him the chance to get that sorted."
The loss of 27-year-old Mitchell is an untimely blow to the Chiefs, who are still nursing injuries to the likes of James Hanks, Luke Arscott, Greg Bateman and Jack Nowell.
However, Baxter is hopeful that summer signing Don Armand should get a run-out in Monday night's A League game at London Irish, as should Fijian international Sireli Naqelevuki, who is working his way back to full fitness following a knee problem.