Greig Laidlaw will miss Scotland’s autumn test series after sustaining a fractured leg while on club duty.
Laidlaw’s club Clermont-Auvergne confirmed that the Scotland captain had suffered a fracture to his fibula during the Top 14 outfit’s Champions’ Cup win over Ospreys at the weekend.
The scrum half underwent a scan after complaining of a sore ankle, and the extent of the injury was revealed.
A statement on the Clermont-Auvergne website said: “The injury does not require surgery but the duration of his unavailability is estimated between ten and 12 weeks.”
Laidlaw, 32, missed the summer tour of Singapore, Australia and Fiji after being called up to the British & Irish Lions squad as a replacement for Ben Youngs, who withdrew before the tour for personal reasons.
He played six times for the midweek side during the tour.
He last played for Scotland in February, when he picked up an ankle injury against France in Paris, ruling him out for the rest of the Six Nations.
Laidlaw’s injury is a blow for Gregor Townsend ahead of the autumn test series but the Scotland coach received better news from John Barclay, who has been given the green light by a head specialist after struggling with the ongoing symptoms of concussion, after taking a blow to the head when Scarlets beat Edinburgh several weeks ago.
Barclay took over as Scotland captain in Laidlaw’s absence for the remainder of the Six Nations and could well be called upon to lead the country again during the internationals against Samoa, New Zealand and Australia next month.