Manu Tuilagi is set to miss the rest of the season because of a groin injury, Leicester boss Richard Cockerill says.
The Leicester and England centre, 23, is still recovering from the injury he suffered in October, according to the BBC.
Cockerill is confident Tuilagi will return in time to play at the World Cup for the national side, who came close to winning the Six Nations without him.
“He’s improving all the time but it’s a long process,” he said. “The likelihood now is he may not play this season.”
The Tigers’ director of rugby added: “The likelihood is he will be fit for June and he’ll join England for their World Cup camp.
“Hopefully he’ll be involved in the World Cup warm-ups and have a huge say in how England do.”
Stuart Lancaster’s tournament hosts get their World Cup campaign under way against Fiji at Twickenham on 18 September.
Before that, they face warm-up fixtures against France in August, both home and away, before a final run-out against Ireland at Twickenham on 5 September.
Samoa-born Tuilagi has won 25 caps and scored 11 tries for England, while also featuring once for the British and Irish Lions.
His last international outing came during England’s 3-0 Series defeat to New Zealand in June.