Tuilagi’s career has been blighted by a series of injuries in the last three years. As a result, his appearances for Leicester have been severely limited, while he has earned just one England cap – as a replacement – since 2014.
The 26-year-old was called into a training camp by Eddie Jones last month, only to then be sent home over “team culture issues”
It now appears Tuilagi’s hopes of featuring in England’s November internationals are over, after he strained the meniscus in his left knee during last weekend’s Premiership opener against Bath.
A Leicester statement confirmed Tuilagi will undergo surgery.
Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor said: “This is not the knee that Manu injured last season and this is not a major injury in the context of what kept him out for the first half of this year.
“Manu has worked really hard with the medical and conditioning teams to come back from long-term injury and was starting to find his feet again on the pitch, but he’s just been very unlucky with this one.
“It was an innocuous bump, a freak incident in the game. On closer inspection there is some damage to the meniscus, which needs to be addressed.
“We look forward to having him back at the end of his recovery period.”