Cape Town - Courtney Lawes has
been forced to leave the England training camp and is a major doubt for
the November international opener against South Africa.
Northampton Saints lock Lawes first complained of a back injury on October 6 and then missed two weeks of action, returning in last weekend's victory over Dragons.
And now England forwards coach Steve Borthwick has confirmed that Lawes will return home from the national side's training camp in Portugal to undergo 'specialist treatment' on the same back injury.
“Courtney Lawes will return to England today for specialist treatment on a pre-existing back injury,” Borthwick told Sky Sports on Saturday.
“He is expected to return to Portugal early next week. He has taken part in modified training this week.”
England head coach Eddie Jones is already without the services of Joe Launchbury, with one of George Kruis, Charlie Ewels or Elliot Stooke set to partner Maro Itoje in the second row.