Harlequins have confirmed that England loosehead Joe Marler has sustained a fracture to his lower left leg ensuring he will likely miss the opening two rounds of the Six Nations.
Marler will now undergo a period of rehabilitation and the club hope that he will be fit to play again in four to five weeks.
The 26-year-old could miss England’s Six Nations opener at Twickenham against France and their away trip to Wales but may return against Italy in the third round.
Speaking after Harlequins 29-26 victory over Sale on Saturday Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston shed some light on how Marler’s injury came about, although his initial prognosis was wrong.
Kingston said: “Joe (Marler) had a problem with a stamp that he picked up against Gloucester and he had another knock on it at Worcester last week.
“He didn’t train with England in the week but we did a bit yesterday and he began to feel it in the warm-up.
“We left it up to him and we erred on the side of caution. It’s a strain and he will have a scan but I don’t see a problem with him being available for the Six Nations, at this stage.”
The news will come as a blow for England head coach Eddie Jones who is already without the injured Mako Vunipola for the start of the tournament.
Jones now only has two fit looseheads in the squad in the shape of Wasps Matt Mullan and Bath’s uncapped Nathan Catt.
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