England No8 Billy Vunipola faces a race to be fit for this year’s Rugby World Cup after the Saracens star underwent surgery on his knee.
The back-row will rehabilitate with the England squad and is aiming to be fit for the autumn.
“The medical team are positive about my prospects, and I understand exactly what needs to be done over the next few weeks,” said Vunipola.
The news comes as England head coach Steve Borthwick named his latest 36-man training group ahead of four pre-World Cup warm-ups.
The only changes to the squad were the exclusions of Will Joseph – who at the weekend signed for Harlequins from the now defunct London Irish – and Bath prop Beno Obano.
England will name their final training squad – which will include fit Saracens and Sale Sharks players for the first time – before the final Rugby World Cup squad is named on 7 August.
England will play Wales home and away as well as Ireland in Dublin and Fiji in London as preparation for the World Cup.
England will feature alongside Samoa, Chile, Argentina and Japan in their pool in France, and could face former coach Eddie Jones and Australia in the last eight.
Rugby World Cup pools
A: New Zealand, France, Italy, Uruguay, Namibia
B: South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Romania
C: Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Portugal
D: England, Japan, Argentina Samoa, Chile