Manu Tuilagi is set to miss England’s autumn Tests after Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill revealed he will be out for another “six to eight weeks” with a groin problem.
Tuilagi has been plagued by injury problems for the last two years but made his comeback in Leicester’s first game of the season against Gloucester.
However the 25-year-old centre has not played since and Cockerill says it could be mid-November before he returns.
England take on South Africa at Twickenham on November 12 and are scheduled to play another three Tests against Fiji, Argentina and Australia.
Cockerill said: “He has still got a tight groin. We are hoping he will be back on the field within six to eight weeks. It’s tough, tough for everyone. We will support him, and he’s working hard. When we get to six to eight weeks, we will see. It might be another three.
“He is a world-class player. He doesn’t want to be injured, we don’t want him to be injured. We want him on the field.
“His groin is not right, and we are going to get it right. When it’s right he will play. At the moment we are hoping it will be six to eight weeks – if it’s not, it’s not. He is running and it’s nowhere as severe as it was. It’s tight, and we want to get rid of that.”
Leicester did not miss Tuilagi on Sunday as they ended Bath’s 100 per cent record with a 34-14 home win.
They scored three tries through captain Tom Youngs, Brendon O’Connor and Ed Slater. Bath responded with two from Semesa Rokoduguni and Tom Dunn.
The big difference was the boot of Owen Williams, who converted Leicester’s dominance into points. He scored 17 after moving from centre to fly-half just before the match started because Freddie Burns was unwell.
Leicester’s victory moved them up to fourth place, one point behind Bath, who had won their opening three games.