Lyon - Experienced France halfback Morgan Parra will miss the whole of the Six Nations as he needs a knee operation, his club Clermont said on Thursday.
Parra was recalled to the France squad by new coach Jacques Brunel in January following a two-year absence, only to pull out before the Six Nations after injuring his knee playing for Clermont in the European Champions Cup against Ospreys last month.
"Rest hasn't been enough to banish the pain. (Parra) tested himself at the beginning of the week and must now undergo an operation," Clermont said.
Parra is expected to be out for another four to six weeks - the Six Nations ends in a month - and will undergo surgery on his meniscus.
The 29-year-old was expected to be integral to Brunel's plans following an impressive season for Clermont.
However, he will have to wait until the June tour to New Zealand, at least, before adding to his 66 caps.
His absence for the rest of the Six Nations will be an added headache for Brunel after another scrumhalf, Antoine Dupont tear his cruciate knee ligament against Ireland two weeks ago. Dupont will miss the rest of the season.
Brunel's squad has been depleted by injuries, suspension and now the fall-out from a night out in Edinburgh that saw France's return home following their defeat to Scotland delayed as six players were interviewed by police.
No charges were brought but France have disciplined eight players by dropping them for next week's clash with Italy.
Parra should be fit in time for Clermont's European Champions Cup quarter-final clash with Racing 92 on April 1.