The England international has been one of the Tigers' most consistent performers of late, captaining the side on a number of occasions and leading the Saxons to a Churchill Cup win this year.
Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill admitted the loss of Crane is a setback for his side.
"It is a blow for Crane, 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," Cockerill told the Leicester Tigers website.
"He has had an ongoing knee problem and it has got to the point where he can't continue.
"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."
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