Veteran lock Courtney Lawes could be in doubt for England’s three-Test rugby series against the Wallabies in Australia after suffering a compound thumb dislocation.
Lawes, who captained England for part of this season’s Six Nations Championship, was hurt during Northampton’s European Challenge Cup defeat against Gloucester last weekend.
“Courtney had a compound dislocation of his thumb, quite nasty,” Northampton rugby director Chris Boyd told a number of national newspapers.
“The bone actually came out, but it either popped back in or was put back in, and it has been irrigated and sewn back up again.
“He has still got some medical decisions to be made around the skeletal function of the thumb and the muscle and ligament situation.
Saints have so far only ruled Lawes out of the Gallagher Premiership trip to Bath on Saturday, with further medical opinion required.
Northampton are pushing for a play-off place and have four games left in their regular-season campaign. The Bath match is followed by appointments with Harlequins, Saracens and Newcastle.
England, meanwhile, face Australia in a three-Test series that starts on July 2.
“All I can clearly say, until we get a medical view, is he won’t play on Saturday,” said Boyd. “He needs specialist consultation to make a decision on what is the best course of action.”