England head coach Stuart Lancaster has been dealt another blow ahead of the autumn Tests after hooker Tom Youngs was ruled out with a shoulder injury, according to BBC Radio Leicester.
The 27-year old sustained the injury during the Tigers' embarrassing 45-0 defeat to Bath in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday.
2013 Premiership Player of the Year Youngs - whose younger brother Ben is also involved with the England set-up - will now miss the matches against New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Samoa.
The absence of the Leicester star adds to the mounting injury concerns for Lancaster as Dan Cole and Mako Vunipola will also be sidelined for the Test matches.
Youngs has 17 caps to his name after making his debut against Fiji in November 2012, and was involved in a battle for the main hooker place in the England side with Northampton Saints' Dylan Hartley.
He missed the recent tour of New Zealand as he opted to stay at home with his ill wife and he was a player keen to impress in order to secure a spot in the team ahead of the World Cup next year.
In a recent interview with the Daily Mirror, he said: "Being away in New Zealand it would have been very hard to deal with.
“As much as my wife said she was all right, she needed my support. And as a husband I needed to give her that support.
“So I took it upon myself to say ‘no’ to touring. But missing out has sharpened my motivation to make the World Cup.”
The news that he won't feature for the national side until the new year will come as a setback to the 27-year old, but he remains a safe bet to be a part of Lancaster's squad in 2015.
His absence was confirmed by Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill, who said: "He had surgery on Monday and it will probably be three months."
Leicester's woes continue
Youngs being sidelined will also be bad news for his club side, who have a long list of first-team players currently spending prolonged periods of time on the treatment table.
Manu Tuilagi and Anthony Allen were injured in the build up to the Bath debacle and it is not currently known when the pair will return.
The Tigers will be hoping to bounce back when they host London Irish at the weekend.
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