Stoke striker James Beattie may have played his last game for Stoke after being ruled out for six weeks.
The 32-year-old former England international has started just one Premier League game and made six substitute appearances for the Potters this season, and now faces surgery on his problematic knee cartilage.
Following a bust-up with manager Tony Pulis in December regarding the team Christmas party, Beattie was linked with a move during the January transfer window.
And Pulis confirmed that the striker is now facing a spell of rehabilitation.
He said: "James has just had an operation to have a knee meniscus cleared up. He'll be six weeks out. We've got two months left so it's all about his rehab now."
Stoke have had another solid season in the top-flight and are on course for a mid-table finish.
Pulis admits it has been a tough campaign, and that he has had more to worry about than just Beattie.
"There are other issues outside of the Beattie incident," he added.
"The second year holds different problems and it's been more difficult to manage this season than it was last year.
"That 'second year syndrome' is certainly there, and there are pitfalls. You learn as you go along, but for me it's been a much tougher year."