England wing Christian Wade is a serious doubt for next summer's tour to New Zealand after being told he requires surgery to repair damaged foot ligaments.
Wade has been ruled out for up to six months after sustaining the injury on club duty for Wasps on Saturday and will miss the entire RBS 6 Nations.
Unless he heals faster than expected, the British and Irish Lion will not play again for Wasps again this season, leaving him without time to regain match fitness for June's three-Test series against the All Blacks.
"It's devastating news for both the player and the club," Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said.
"Christian was hugely unlucky to miss out on being capped this autumn and he had hoped to push on and put in some good performances for Wasps to get him in contention for Six Nations selection.
"It is a huge blow for him but he is a young player with a huge future and his time will come around again."
Wade was due to win his second cap in last month's QBE Internationals only for a hamstring injury to prevent him from starting against Argentina and New Zealand.
Head coach Stuart Lancaster was keen to give him a more prominent role amid the ongoing deterioration of Chris Ashton's form and he was set to start the Six Nations opener against France on February 1.
England's options out wide are depleting rapidly with Marland Yarde and Ben Foden set to miss the Six Nations with respective hip and knee injuries.
Wade's absence is likely to result in a Test reprieve for Ashton despite him struggling throughout the autumn, while Charlie Sharples, David Strettle, Jonny May and Ugo Monye are in contention for promotion from the Saxons.