Saracens were dealt a blow after it was revealed that utility forward Maro Itoje will be sidelined for a number of weeks after suffering a knee injury.
The 24-year-old took a knock whilst on international duty with England and scans have revealed a chip in his patella.
According to a report in the Guardian, Itoje sustained the injury during England’s training camp in Portugal in October.
But despite the knock, he started for his country in all of their end-of-year Tests and missed only 10 minutes of international action due a yellow card he received in England’s narrow 12-11 victory over the Springboks at Twickenham.
Meanwhile, Itoje’s England and Saracens team-mate, loosehead prop Mako Vunipola, has recovered from his calf strain and will start for the Premiership champions against Cardiff Blues on Sunday.
Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall has confirmed George Kruis (calf) is another week away while Billy Vunipola (arm) is estimated to be back for Rounds 11-12 of the Premiership.
Liam Williams (hamstring), David Strettle (foot), Hisa Sasagi (groin), Hayden Thompson-Stringer (hamstring) and Duncan Taylor (knee) are the club’s other injury absentees.