WORCESTER Warriors will be without star centre Ollie Lawrence for up to four weeks, head coach Jonathan Thomas has confirmed.

The England man has been out since the win over Sale Sharks in November with a hamstring problem that he has not managed to recover from.

Thomas says there were fears it could have been a more serious problem but after being assessed by the medial team, he should be back by the end of January.

Scrum-half Willi Heinz has not featured for the club since being pulled out of the squad ahead of the thrashing at Northampton Saints in October.

He suffered a groin tear and his return will be the same as Lawrence.

Owen Williams has been out of action for almost three months now since pulling his hamstring in the defeat to Gloucester in round three but the noises are positive and is expected to be back in contention at the same time as Heinz and Lawrence.

In other team news for the Boxing Day clash at Saracens, hooker Beck Cutting will not be involved as he has tested positive for COVID-19 (the only current case at the club) and is currently in isolation.

But full-back Melani Nanai has completed his quarantine period and will most likely be in the squad for the trip to the capital.

Scotland and British and Irish Lions prop Rory Sutherland has not been training lately due to the dead leg he picked up last month, which has caused some internal bleeding that is causing an issue.

Thomas said it was an injury to be very careful with but there is no time frame on it, so could be involved this week although it would be unlikely.

Francois Venter and Niall Annett took knocks to the head in the defeat at Newcastle in the European Challenge Cup two weeks ago but are fit and ready to play.