London - England second-row forward Joe Launchbury will miss the Six Nations after Wasps announced on Thursday that he must undergo neck surgery and faces up to four months out.
Launchbury, 23, missed the November internationals due to a persistent nerve problem in his neck.
He was initially told that he would need six to eight weeks of rest to recover, but after further consultations with specialists, he will now go under the knife on Friday and will be sidelined for much longer.
"The club today (Thursday) confirmed that second row Joe Launchbury will undergo surgery to decompress a nerve in his neck," Wasps said in a statement.
"Launchbury hasn't played since the beginning of November due to a bulging disc. He will undergo a routine decompression of the nerve this Friday and is expected to be out of hospital on Saturday.
"A rehabilitation period of approximately three to four months is anticipated."
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said: "As you would expect, this is a frustrating time for Joe, but the most important thing in all of this isn't rugby, it's Joe's long-term health.
"We have consulted specialists in this field and they have recommended surgery as the best option to get him back to full fitness for the long term.
"Joe is in good hands, being looked after by one of the world's leading surgeons, and he will have the full support of the Wasps and England medical teams during his rehabilitation period."
England begin their Six Nations campaign against Wales in Cardiff on February 6.