WORCESTER Warriors centre Ryan Mills has been carrying a shoulder problem “for a while” and may require an operation in the summer.

Director of rugby Alan Solomons said Mills’ issue became a “real problem” last Thursday forcing the playmaker to miss Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership clash with Sale Sharks.

It is not known whether the 26-year-old, who has stepped up to captain the side in the absence of Gerrit Jan van Velze in recent weeks, would return before the end of the campaign.

But Solomons said he would get clarity on the extent of Mills’ injury this week and also find out whether the Warriors star would need to go under the knife.

“We are going to have a closer look at it,” said Solomons after Worcester’s 39-17 victory over Sale at Sixways.

“I don’t want to make a comment until we have seen it.

“He wasn’t ready to play this game and we made that decision on Thursday.

“He has been carrying a bit of a shoulder problem for a while and it became a real problem at Thursday’s practice so we removed him from this fixture.”

Mills has been a regular starter for Warriors this season, scoring four tries in 22 appearances.

Asked whether Mills’ injury was a worry, Solomons replied: “It is but we have got to have a look at it.

“We can sort it out in the off-season if it requires an operation but let’s see what (this week) brings and then we can make a decision from there.”