Wilfred Bouma will not play again this season as the Aston Villa man prepares to undergo further surgery on an ankle injury.
The Dutchman has not played for Martin O'Neill's first XI since suffering a dislocated ankle during the Intertoto Cup clash with Odense BK at Villa Park in late July.
Bouma had looked set for a recall after completing three games for the club's reserves but having suffered a setback, it has been decided the best course of action is for him to go under the surgeon's knife.
"Freddie has had a bit of a setback. There have been some floating particles in the ankle that might have been there for some time or might have broken off in his rehab," said O'Neill.
"I think he needs a bit of keyhole surgery. If he does, I think that might prevent him from making the comeback between now and the end of the season.
"We will know better about that by the middle of next week but I think the idea is that it is best to get it (the surgery) done now."
Nicky Shorey, who found himself out of the side for most of the second half of the campaign before earning a recall for the last two matches against Manchester United and Everton, will likely continue to deputise at left-back.