London - England prop Joe Marler is set to miss the rest of the season after suffering a shoulder injury but should still be fit for the World Cup, the front-row forward's club boss said Saturday.
Marler was named in Harlequins' starting side for their English Premiership match away to Sale on Saturday but was withdrawn.
After the London-based visitors won 25-23, Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea said Marler may need an operation but insisted he would still be available for the September-October World Cup in England.
"It's not a worry for the World Cup," said O'Shea.
"He (Marler) came back from the Six Nations with a shoulder injury. We thought because he had this problem before that you could strengthen it, but we made the decision yesterday (Friday)."
The former Ireland full-back added: "Will he be fit for the rest of the season? No. But will he be fine for the (England) training camps? Yes.
"He will probably need an operation but it's only a minor one, it's not going to be something that's going to have any impact on him.
"We thought he could strengthen but it's not something you can mess around with."
Despite Marler's absence, Harlequins won with England captain Chris Robshaw one of their four try-scorers as they closed to within a point of seventh-placed Sale.- Northampton into play-offs -
Meanwhile, reigning champions Northampton secured their place in this season's play-offs with a come-from-behind 25-20 win over title rivals Saracens -- the team they beat in last term's Premiership final -- at Milton Keynes, north of London.
Saints were 14-6 down but Sarries, after their gruelling European Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by Clermont in France last week, ran out of steam.
Things looked promising for Saracens after Chris Wyles scored two early tries, while former England fly-half Charlie Hodgson kicked two conversions and two penalties.
But Northampton were indebted to No 10 Stephen Myler, pushing for a place in England's World Cup squad, with the reliable stand-off kicking six penalties and converting Samu Manoa's try in a 20-point haul.
"It is a big win," said Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder.
"Stephen gets man-of-the-match in a lot of the big games he plays in. You need someone as reliable as him who can kick the goals in big pressure situations and can run the team."
Saracens saw forwards Billy Vunipola (ankle) and Jackson Wray (concussion) both leave the field in the first half and Mallinder added: "Billy Vunipola going off was a critical moment. We seemed to get on the front foot in the second half, and I thought we dominated."
Defeated Saracens boss Mark McCall lamented his side's indiscipline by saying: "You can't expect to win games of that nature when you give away the amount of penalties that we did."
Elsewhere a Newcastle side coached by ex-England No 8 Dean Richards squandered a 40-23 lead as Gloucester recovered to win 42-40 at Kingsholm thanks to a last-minute try from Billy Burns.
Saturday's other Premiership match saw London Welsh suffer their 20th defeat in as many league games this season as Leicester beat them 38-17 at Welford Road.
The result left London Welsh rooted to the foot of the table and in the lone relegation place, with the Exiles a colossal 27 points adrift of second-bottom Newcastle.