Bath lock Charlie Ewels is expected to miss most of the new Premiership season after undergoing knee surgery.
The 27-year-old suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury whilst on international duty with England in Australia last month.
“Charlie has been for his operation and he will be out for an extended period,” Bath’s new head of rugby Johann van Graan said.
“It was a pretty serious knee injury. He is in good spirits.”
The normal recovery time for a significant ACL injury is nine to 12 months.
“Is there a chance he’s back this season? Potentially, the back end of it, but I wouldn’t want to speculate on it now. It’s way too early,” Van Graan added.
Bath, who finished bottom of the Premiership last season with only five league wins, start their new league campaign away to west country rivals Bristol on Friday, 9 September.