London - England's Manu Tuilagi has suffered another injury blow that looks certain to sideline him from the end of year internationals just after he returned to action following a long layoff, his club Leicester said on Thursday.
The centre will have surgery and faces an estimated 12 weeks' recovery time after suffering a knee strain during the Tigers' Premiership opener against Bath at the weekend.
That match, which Leicester lost, was his first Premiership appearance for eight months after recovering from knee trouble.
Tuilagi, 26, has not started a Test since 2014 due to repeated injury setbacks.
The player, who has a history of indiscretions, was sent home from an England training camp in August along with Denny Solomona, reportedly for being drunk.
But England head coach Eddie Jones said this week that the two players could return to the squad as long as their attitude was right.
Leicester said Tuilagi's latest injury was a strained meniscus in his left knee.
"This is not the knee that Manu injured last season, and this is not a major injury in the context of what kept him out for the first half of this year," Leicester head coach Matt O'Connor told the club's official website.
"Manu has worked really hard with the medical and conditioning teams to come back from long-term injury and was starting to find his feet again on the pitch, but he's just been very unlucky with this one."
England kick off their end of year Tests against Argentina on November 11.
Any potential England comeback is now likely to be on hold until this season's Six Nations Championship, which starts in February 2018.
Tuilagi has only played 17 minutes off the bench for England since Jones took charge in 2015, while his last England start was on tour in New Zealand the previous year.