England prop Andrew Sheridan will miss the autumn internationals after being ruled out for four months with a shoulder injury.
Sheridan sustained the damage when a scrum collapsed during Sale's Heineken Cup victory over Cardiff Blues on Friday night.
The 29-year-old Lions prop will undergo a full reconstruction of his left shoulder on Wednesday.
Sheridan sustained the dislocated shoulder seven minutes before the end of a 27-26 victory that breathed new life into Sale's Heineken Cup ambitions.
The collapsed scrum resulted in a penalty being awarded against the Blues but Sheridan, who had impressed throughout the game, stayed down and required oxygen.
The shoulder was put back in place but his hopes of participating in England's November fixtures against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand looked bleak and he was ruled out today.
Sale director of rugby Kingsley Jones said: "Andrew is a great presence around our team and he will be missed.
"It's bad news for Andrew, England and Sale Sharks and we just have to come to terms with it."
The four-month lay-off also threatens Sheridan's involvement in the RBS 6 Nations, which opens against Wales on February 6.
Should rehabilitation take as long as expected, it is unlikely he will be ready for Test duty until England's third match - against Ireland on February 27 - at the earliest.
His absence ensures England will enter a challenging autumn minus two of their first-choice front rows after fellow Lion Lee Mears incurred a knee ligament injury on Heineken Cup duty for Bath.
Martin Johnson is now missing 11 players for the November series, including Toby Flood (knee), Danny Cipriani (fractured fibia), Simon Shaw (toe), Delon Armitage (shoulder) and Riki Flutey (shoulder).
Sheridan has won 32 caps, playing in 21 of England's last 28 Tests. He also made two Test appearances for the Lions during the summer tour to South Africa.