Wesley Fofana will miss France's Six Nations campaign for the second straight year due to a herniated disc.
The luckless centre ruptured his Achilles 12 months ago to miss out for Les Bleus and Fofana will again be a notable absentee.
Fofana's club side Clermont Auvergne confirmed on Friday that he will require surgery, ruling him out for three months.
"The centre had been complaining for several days of various symptoms that alarmed the medical staff of Clermont Auvergne," a club statement read.
"The cause of his symptoms are due to a hernia in the cervical spine highlighted by a scan performed in recent days.
"[He] will have to undergo in the first days of January a surgical repair...which will mean he is unavailable for three months."
It is a particular blow for new France coach Jacques Brunel, who replaced the sacked Guy Noves this week.
France start their Six Nations campaign against Ireland on February 3, and end with a trip to Wales on March 17.