Jack Nowell will miss the start of the Exeter Chief's Premiership campaign having undergone surgery on a thumb injury that rules him out for 10 weeks.
Nowell scored eight tries in 13 appearances as the Chiefs reached the Premiership final in 2015-16 and featured in England's 3-0 Test series victory over Australia in June.
Exeter coach Rob Baxter is consigned to losing the 23-year-old full-back for up to two and a half months.
"Jack Nowell is out after an operation on an injured thumb so he is going to be out for a while," said Baxter.
"It is potentially something like an eight-to-10 week injury. Other than him though, we are looking pretty good and have a pretty good squad for the start of the season."
Chiefs begin their Premiership campaign against Wasps at the Ricoh Arena on September 4, but Nowell will hope to recover for England's Tests in November and December.