Tom Johnson is likely to miss England's opening Six Nations matches.
The Exeter flanker during the with a knee injury and is set to be out for a few weeks.
"We don't think we're talking about major reconstructive surgery," Exeter boss Rob Baxter told BBC South West.
"So as long as the MRI scan shows that and backs that up then there is a possibility it could be weeks of recovery rather than months."
England's first game is the Calcutta Cup match with Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday 2 February.
Stuart Lancaster has
The 30-year-old Exeter flanker last summer and played all three Tests against the Springboks.
He also appeared against and last autumn, scoring his first England try against the Pacific islanders, but was
"We know it's a relatively severe injury, he's not had an MRI scan yet which will give us a bit more detail.
"I think our feeling is the injury could have been worse than it is, but I don't want to say too much until he's had the complete scan results," Baxter added.