England captain Sam Burgess will miss their upcoming tests against the Kiwis after being booked for shoulder and wrist surgery.
Burgess' NRL club South Sydney confirmed the forward would undergo surgery "in the coming weeks".
Coach Wayne Bennett had just days ago named Burgess as captain of his 24-strong England squad for Tests against France and New Zealand in October and November.
"I'm gutted that I have had to withdraw from these matches as I love playing for my country and it is a great honour," Burgess said in a Rabbitohs statement.
"The reality of the situation is that it's imperative that I get these surgeries done, and with a view to the next three or four years I need to get them done now.
"I'll be watching on from Australia and cheering on England against France and New Zealand and I'm sure the team will do England proud."
Burgess' brothers Tom and George will take their place in the England team which will play France on October 17 and start a three-Test series against the Kiwis from October 27.
Burgess' withdrawal is another blow for Bennett who is already without key players Gareth Widdop, Kallum Watkins, Ryan Hall, Ben Currie, Alex Walmsley and James Roby due to injury.
Bennett's 24-strong England squad still boasts nine players who featured in their 2017 Rugby League World Cup final loss to Australia.