The French lock underwent an operation on an Achilles tendon on Monday, which puts him out of action for six months, and, significantly for his country, leaving France coach Bernard Laporte with a serious lack of second rows.
Former skipper Fabien Pelous is already a doubt for the opening match against Ireland after injuring his knee against Biarritz two weeks ago, while Olivier Brouzet is recovering from a shoulder operation. Stade Francais lock David Auradou will undergo a scan on an injured calf this week.
Laporte's options include Lionel Pape, David Couzinet and Thibault Privat, with backrower Patrick Tabacco, who played in the second row for Stade Francais at the weekend, also in contention.
The injury also cast a shadow over his clubs chances of progressing to the final eight of the Heineken Cup.
Biarritz are currently in second place in Pool 4, and are heading for a Pool-deciding showdown with Leinster Lions at the parc des Sports Aquilera on March 31.