Courtney Lawes has left England’s training camp in Portugal to undergo treatment on a back injury.
The Northampton forward is returning to England but is expected back in Vilamoura next week and remains in contention for their autumn series, which begins against South Africa on November 3.
England forwards coach Steve Borthwick said: “Courtney Lawes will return to England today for specialist treatment on a pre-existing back injury.
“He is expected to return to Portugal early next week. He has taken part in modified training this week.”
Lawes missed England’s series defeat in South Africa in June after undergoing knee surgery but has made six appearances for Northampton this season, including last weekend’s Challenge Cup win at the Dragons.
Last week he signed a new two-year contract that keeps him at Franklin’s Gardens until 2020.
The 29-year-old has won 65 caps for his country, the last coming against France in this year’s Six Nations when he suffered the knee injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season.
England are already without a host of key forwards for next month’s Quilter Internationals, including Billy and Mako Vunipola, Joe Launchbury and Nathan Hughes.
England vs South Africa
November 3, 2018, 2:00pm
They face the Springboks, New Zealand, Japan and Australia on successive Saturdays at Twickenham, with every game live on Sky Sports Action.
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