Paris - Lock forward Pascal Pape will miss the rest of France's Six Nations campaign to fully recover from a back injury, he said on his Twitter account on Thursday.
Pape picked up the injury while he was captain of the side that lost 23-18 to Italy in Rome on February 3.
At first it was thought he would be out of action for a fortnight, but it has taken longer for him to regain full fitness and his target is now to be back playing for his club side Stade Francais for the trip to Toulouse on March 23.
That means he will miss France's two remaining games in the Six Nations - away to Ireland on March 9 and at home to Scotland on March 16.
In his absence, the captaincy has reverted to flanker Thierry Dusautoir, but the French have lost to both Wales and England and are now facing a struggle to avoid the tournament wooden spoon.