Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has started on the long road to recovery after undergoing surgery on his ankle ligament injury.
The Holland forward is facing at least the next four months on the sidelines, with real doubts over whether he will feature again this term.
Van Persie suffered the injury while on international duty during a friendly with Italy and his absence is a major setback for the Gunners.
Manager Arsene Wenger has received an update on his sidelined striker and revealed that the operation to repair Van Persie's damaged ligaments was a complete success.
He told the club's official website: "I have not talked to Robin yet but there again the news I got from the surgery was it went very, very well.
"There was a lot of disturbance on our side recently (about his injury) but the surgery went well."
Young left-back Kieran Gibbs, who will be out for three months with a broken metatarsal, has also been under the knife in recent days.
"Kieran is doing very well," added Wenger. "I had him on the phone and it looked to be completely fine."
Fellow defender Bacary Sagna has recovered from his ankle injury and is expected to feature against Stoke on Saturday, but forward Theo Walcott has suffered a hamstring injury and is back on the sidelines.
"We had Sagna out injured [before] but, normally, he will be available," said Wenger. "However, Theo Walcott will not be available. He has a hamstring injury."
Gael Clichy, Abou Diaby and Nicklas Bendtner remain on the treatment table and will not feature against the Potters, while midfielder Alex Song is ruled out by a one-match suspension for receiving five bookings.