The Northampton powerhouse would in all likelihood have captained England for the quartet of November Tests had he been available.
The 33-year-old has not played since suffering a head injury on September 24, and both Northampton and England have since adopted a no-risk, no-rush attitude to his recovery.
Boss Eddie Jones had initially been confident enough of Lawes’ autumn availability to name him in the original 36-man squad, but several issues have since arisen in his staged progression through return-to-play protocols.
And now England boss Jones has confirmed Lawes will not be back this autumn – with no time frame purposely put on his recovery, to avoid any unrealistic expectations.
“Courtney, there’s been no movement there at the moment,” said Jones. “He needs some rest now rather than feeling like he has to rush to come back, so we are allowing it to take its natural course.
“We are in communication with his medical staff but we are letting him rest and come back. We’re hopeful that he will be back for the Six Nations and ready to go.
“I’m only worried that he gets back to 100 per cent health at this time.
“These things have a natural course; some heal quicker than others. The most important thing is his health, and he’ll get back to playing rugby when he’s ready.”
Sale scrum-half Raffi Quirke and London Irish wing Henry Arundell are also likely to miss the rest of the autumn campaign through injury.
Quirke suffered a broken arm in Sale’s win over Gloucester at the weekend, while Arundell’s foot injury still proving problematic.
“Raffi, we don’t think he’s going to be available for November, and it’s the same with Henry,” said Jones.
“Both of those guys are back rehabilitating with their clubs.”