Leeds Rhinos captain Luke Gale is likely to miss the start of the Super League season after tearing apectoral muscle in pre-season training.
The 32-year-old England scrum-half scored five tries in 18 games in his first season with Leeds in 2020, and lifted the Challenge Cup at Wembley.
It followed two injury-hit years at Castleford, with Achilles and kneecap injuries limiting his game-time.
"It's a tough one," Rhinos head coach Richard Agar told BBC Radio Leeds.
"He's torn his pec through just lifting, fully warmed up and not overdoing it, but it's just one of those things.
"He's getting his operation done and once he's had that it's a possible nine or 10 weeks for the target date.
"He's a good healer, he's got his head round it but it's going to be unlikely he makes the start of the year but he won't be too far off."
The Super League season is due to begin on Thursday 11 March.