Rob Baxter has revealed that Exeter Chiefs prop Brett Sturgess could miss the next 12 weeks after breaking an arm.
The 31-year-old went off after 55 minutes of Saturday's 12-12 draw with Bath in the Aviva Premiership.
After being taken to hospital, it was confirmed he had broken his left arm and was due to have an operation today (Monday).
Former Northampton prop Sturgess broke his right arm in February last season and returned to action nine weeks later.
Head coach Baxter described his latest injury as 'relatively serious' but is confident the club's stable of props will fill the void in the absence of the first-choice loosehead.
Baxter said: "Sturge has broken his arm. He'll be having an operation today (Monday). It's a similar injury to the one he suffered last time but the other arm this time.
"He's likely to be out for eight, 10 or 12 weeks - it's a relatively serious injury."
He added: "Sturge is one of these guys who does do his rehab absolutely flat-out. I think the physios are already booking themselves in for the long appointments they tend to have with Sturge!
"It's unfortunate for Sturge because the season has been going well for him, but at the same time it's an opportunity for someone else. Ben Moon went on and did well (on Saturday) and Carl Rimmer came to us originally as a loosehead so there's an opportunity there for him to get some more time in his preferred position.
"Luke Cowan-Dickie is playing very well down at Plymouth (on dual registration) at loosehead so we've got options.
"We do feel we've got a strong squad here so at times like this the guys have got to stand up and come in and do a good job for us."