Bath lock Charlie Ewels is likely to miss most of the new Premiership season after having knee surgery, with Ireland’s Quinn Roux signed as cover.
Ewels suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury whilst on international duty with England in Australia last month.
The 27-year-old made 16 appearances in the league for the team last season.
The normal recovery time for a significant ACL injury is nine to 12 months.
“Charlie has been for his operation and he will be out for an extended period. It was a pretty serious knee injury. He is in good spirits,” said Bath head of rugby Johann van Graan.
“Is there a chance he’s back this season? Potentially, the back end of it, but I wouldn’t want to speculate on it now. It’s way too early.”
Second rower Roux joins for the entire upcoming season having spent the previous campaign with Top14 side Toulon, where he made 14 appearances.
The 31-year-old has been capped 16 times by his country, most recently in 2020.
He began his career with Leinster and also spent six years with Connacht, where he played more than 100 times.
“Quinn is a class line-out operator who offers great physicality to our options in the second row,” Van Graan added.
“He is an established international with strong rugby experience and we are delighted to have someone of his pedigree on board.”
Bath, who finished bottom of the Premiership last season with only five league wins, start their new league campaign away to West Country rivals Bristol on Friday, 9 September.