France captain Thierry Dusautoir is out of the Six Nations after tearing a tendon in his right biceps in Toulouse's 16-6 Heineken Cup victory over Italian club Zebre on Saturday.
Dusautoir, who has 65 caps and was voted world player of the year in 2011, is expected to be out for four months.
The 32-year-old flanker, who will have surgery on Tuesday or Wednesday, will also miss the Heineken Cup quarters.
France open their 2014 campaign at home to England on Saturday, 1 February.
France coach Philippe Saint-Andre will name a replacement in his squad on Sunday.
Virgile Bruni of Toulon, Castres Olympique's Antonie Claassen and Alexandre Lapandry of Clermont Auvergne are in contention for the place.