Mark Wood is set for a second operation on his injured ankle, but England are still hoping he may be back in contention to play Test cricket this summer.
Press Association Sport understands the fast bowler, who had to leave England's tour of the United Arab Emirates because of the long-standing injury before Christmas, is likely to face a lay-off of up to another two months - which would rule him out, at least, of facing Sri Lanka in May and June.
Pakistan are then England's opponents in the second half of the season.
Wood, 26, had a scheduled meeting with specialists on Monday, having pulled out of an intended comeback with Durham's 2nd XI this week following a return of pain in his left ankle.
He marked his maiden international summer last year by helping England to regain the Ashes at home, and has eight Test caps to date as well as a further eight in limited-overs matches.