Middlesbrough have confirmed that captain Rhys Williams has undergone surgery on his damaged ankle.
The Australia international suffered ligament damage in Boro's Capital One Cup victory at Gillingham.
But now the versatile 24-year-old, who can play in defence or midfield, has finally gone under the knife.
Boro have confirmed that Williams will be sidelined for three to four months, meaning he is unlikely to play again until next year.
With Williams's absence in mind Boro have already moved to bolster their squad by bringing in Andre Bikey.
Jordan Rhodes is the star guest on this week's Football League Hour on Sky Sports News Radio. Bournemouth boss Paul Groves also joins hosts Dean Windass and Mikey Burrows with Blackpool's Kevin Phillips taking the Quickfire Quiz. Tune in Thursday from 7pm at skysports.com/radio or via the Sky Sports News apps.