England international Crane has been one of Tigers’ most consistent performers over recent seasons, captaining the side on a number of occasions and leading the Saxons to Churchill Cup success in the summer.
Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “He has had an ongoing knee problem and it has got to the point where he can’t continue.
“We have had to have the wear and tear repaired and it means he will miss the entire season.
“It is a blow for Craner, who loves playing and just wants to play. It is tough for him as a 25-year-old to be having a year out of the game.
“It is clearly not ideal at this point in time with the World Cup on the horizon to lose someone of his playing ability and his leadership ability.
“We have the likes of Julian Salvi, Thomas Waldrom, Ben Woods and Steve Mafi as back-row options and we will crack on.”