London - England's Henry Slade will miss the Six Nations after Exeter announced on Tuesday that he will be out for around four months after sustaining a broken leg and ankle damage.
The 22-year-old centre was stretchered off during his side's 41-27 Premiership victory at Wasps on Saturday following a tackle by opposing winger Sailosi Tagicakibau.
He had a plate and wiring inserted into his leg on Sunday during what head coach Rob Baxter described as a "pretty major operation".
"The reality is it is a decent injury, so you would normally talk around four months for an injury like this," Baxter said in comments published on the Exeter website.
"That can change relatively significantly both ways, though, depending on a number of factors. We are certainly not pencilling in any date for Henry's return because we know it is long-term.
"We will start talking about a return date in eight to 10 weeks' time when we know a bit more. It will take a bit of time though, and a lengthy rehab process."
Slade will have to wait for his first chance to impress new England head coach Eddie Jones, whose reign begins with England's opening Six Nations fixture against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 6.
Slade has won two caps and featured in England's 60-3 defeat of Uruguay in their final World Cup match.
Baxter also revealed that back-row forward Dave Ewers is unlikely to play again this year due to a knee ligament injury.