Sale Sharks forward James Gaskell will be out of action for at least two months after breaking a bone in his foot.
Scans on Wednesday revealed the bad news for the 23-year-old, who previously captained the side.
The injury was sustained in the warm-up prior to Sale's 26-22 victory over London Wasps five days ago.
The Sharks, however, are boosted by the return of centres Johnny Leota and Sam Tuitupou from respective jaw injuries. Both are expected to be available for selection within the next week.
Sale have won two of their opening three Premiership fixtures, and travel to Franklin's Gardens to face Northampton Saints on Friday.