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Exeter Chiefs’ Dave Ewers is set to miss the start of the Aviva Premiership season with a knee injury.

The flanker did not play in the Chiefs’ 32-16 victory at Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday, and was seen in the stands wearing a knee support.

The exact severity of the injury is not yet known, but it looks highly likely that the 25-year-old will miss Sunday’s clash with Wasps at the Ricoh Arena, and it is believed that a spell on the sidelines is now looking likely.

The Zimbabwe-born blindside missed three months of last season with a knee problem, although this is not believed to be linked to his latest setback.

He started the Sandy Park club’s two earlier pre-season games – a 45-3 win over the Scarlets and the 25-19 victory over Ulster.

Rob Baxter does have plenty of options to cover Ewers’ absence, but being without such an influential and consistent performer will still come as a blow on the eve of the new campaign.

Exe face defending champions Saracens after Wasps, with Ewers seen as a vital part of the Chiefs squad aiming to go one better than last season’s runners-up spot.