CHRIS ROBSHAW became the 14th player KO’d for next month’s England Tests after a knee op.
The Harlequins flanker was set to win his 67th cap against South Africa on November 3 but has been ruled out for up to two months.
Yet things will surely get worse for Red Rose boss Eddie Jones even before he names his squad tomorrow ahead of games against the Springboks, New Zealand, Japan and Australia.
Wasps No 8 Nathan Hughes and Saracens centre Alex Lozowski both face disciplinary hearings and possible bans.
And Saracens forwards Mako Vunipola and Nick Isiekwe are battling calf and ankle injuries following Sunday’s brutal Champions Cup win over Glasgow.
Robshaw, 32, broke news of his injury by tweeting: “Gutted!!! Surgery went well, time to rest up.”
Mako Vunipola (calf)
Ellis Genge (knee)
Beno Obano (knee)
Matt Mullan (knee)
Joe Launchbury (knee)
Jonny Hill (hand)
Nick Isiekwe (ankle)
Billy Vunipola (arm)
Sam Simmonds (ACL)
Nathan Hughes (expected ban)
Jack Willis (knee)
Chris Robshaw (knee)
Dan Robson (ankle)
Jonathan Joseph (ankle)
Ben Te'o (thigh)
Alex Lozowski (potential ban)*
Anthony Watson (Achilles)
Marland Yarde (knee)
*Hearing started last night
The former Red Rose skipper was a contender to cover at No 8 with Billy Vunipola and Sam Simmonds crocked and Hughes expected to be banned.
Uncapped Zach Mercer, 21, of Bath and Newcastle’s Mark Wilson are the only club No 8s still available who featured in Jones’ last England training camp.
The only good news for Jones is Saracens flanker Michael Rhodes escaped a rap after footage caught him grabbing the hair of Glasgow’s DTH van der Merwe.
Quins boss Paul Gustard, the ex England defence coach, said: “We are hugely disappointed to lose Chris for a short period of time while he recovers from this injury.
"Not least because he has been one of our standout performers across our first seven games this season and also because this period in the calendar provides the opportunity to represent England in the Autumn Internationals and I am sure he would have featured strongly in Eddie Jones’ plans for those matches.
“Knowing Chris’ character and resilience I am confident he will make the most of this opportunity and come back even better and stronger.