England captain Lewis Moody faces a race against time to be fit for the autumn Test opener against New Zealand at Twickenham.
Moody's club Bath say he is expected to be out of action for up to four weeks after suffering bruising to his eye during last Friday's Aviva Premiership home defeat against Gloucester.
England face the All Blacks on November 6, when former Leicester flanker Moody would be an integral part of red rose boss Martin Johnson's plans.
The injury does not appear to be as serious as was first feared.
Moody, 32, was hurt following a collision with Gloucester full-back Charlie Sharples early in the second half and required several minutes of treatment on the pitch before going off.
If he is sidelined for a month, then Moody will miss Bath's opening two Heineken Cup games against Biarritz and Italian side Aironi, plus a Premiership appointment with Leicester at Welford Road.
Moody joined Bath from the Tigers earlier this year and has made just five league appearances for his new club.
Bath head coach Steve Meehan said: "Lewis took a serious knock at the weekend, which is obviously very tough on him.
"He was just getting used to the Bath style of play, and it's equally frustrating for the rest of us to lose him at this stage in the season.
"We will of course make sure he receives the best possible attention to get him back on the field as, and when, he's ready. The only good news is it gives an opportunity for someone else to step up and fill the hole."