Exeter Chiefs have been hit by the news forwards Sam Simmonds and Jonny Hill are set for extended spells on the sidelines.
England back-row Simmonds hurt his knee in last week’s victory against Worcester Warriors, while Hill has sustained hand ligament damage.
Director of rugby Rob Baxter has admitted it is a blow to lose the pair at this early stage of the season but hopes other players will now step up and fill the void in the coming months.
“It’s a little bit early to say how bad they are at the moment,” he told BBC Sport.
“Hopefully [they will be] back before the end of the season, but I can’t really say at this stage.”
Baxter added: “You’ve just got to deal with these things, they happen, and use it to get the guys fit in every other area.”