WORCESTER Warriors have been dealt a huge blow with the news that star prop Nick Schonert has sustained knee ligament damage.

The “outstanding scrummager” had to be helped off the field in the second half of Warriors’ Premiership Cup defeat at Bath on Saturday.

It was initially thought Schonert had injured his ankle but Solomons said scans revealed the tighthead had torn his medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee.

With the Gallagher Premiership kicking off on October 19, boss Alan Solomons admitted Worcester would “certainly miss” Schonert.

But the Warriors boss said he was unable to give a "definitive" timescale on Schonert’s recovery until the front rower had seen the specialist on Thursday.

Solomons also confirmed he was left with just two fit specialist tightheads for Friday’s home match against Exeter Chiefs (7.45pm) with Richard Palframan (head) and Farai Mudariki (ankle) also sidelined.

“Nick's certainly got a tear of the collateral medial ligament,” Solomons said.

“At the moment I’m told it’s pretty much a grade two (tear).

“But it’s best to hold off (saying more) until we get the specialist’s view on it and their prognosis.

“It might be two months, it might be three. But it would be premature to say.

“We need to get the specialist to tell us.”

Schonert has been a key figure in Warriors’ front row since his arrival in 2014 and attended two England training camps this summer only to miss out on selection for the Rugby World Cup.

“Nick is disappointed (with the injury) as it was the most unfortunate incident,” Solomons said.

“He is an outstanding scrummager who has been on the fringes of the England playing squad.

“He is an excellent player so we will certainly miss him.

“But hopefully he will be back on the field in not too long.”

On how Schonert picked up the injury, Solomons added: “He was the support player at the back of the lineout and was taken out.”

Warriors were also hit by a further injury setback at Bath when Schonert replacement, Palframan, was forced off a few minutes into his debut.

The summer signing failed a head injury assessment (HIA), leaving loosehead Callum Black to move across the front row to fill in.

With Mudariki also ruled out due to a “slight bit of bother with his ankle”, Solomons said Conor Carey and Joe Morris were his only fit tightheads ahead of Warriors' meeting with Chiefs.

“Conor is now fine and we have got young Joe as well,” Solomons said.

“Joe couldn’t train regularly with us last season because getting a degree at Oxford is no easy task.

“He has now been full time with us. He is a bright lad and applies himself well. He has worked hard in pre-season and it is great to see him given an opportunity.

“The Premiership Cup is being used as preparation for the Premiership.

“Conor had a hit out (in the win over Leicester Tigers) and that’s all very positive for a new guy.

“He will be better prepared for this game. It depends what Exeter team send out but I would guess it would be a fairly strong side.”