Yossi Benayoun has admitted that he could be sidelined for up to six months with an Achilles injury.
The Chelsea midfielder has only recently shaken off a calf problem and was looking forward to kick-starting his career at Stamford Bridge.
He has, however, suffered a recurrence of an old ailment and will be out of action for the foreseeable future.
Benayoun underwent a scan on his latest problem in Israel on Wednesday, having linked up with his national side ahead of the latest round of Euro 2012 qualifiers.
His worst fears have been realised and, while Chelsea are still keen to conduct tests of their own, the 30-year-old fears he could miss a large chunk of the season.
"I pray I will be out for three months but am prepared to be out for six," Benayoun said in The Sun.
"A specialist says I need surgery."
Benayoun first damaged his Achilles over the summer, shortly after completing a move to the Blues from Liverpool.
He then hobbled out of a Carling Cup clash with Newcastle on 22nd September with a calf injury.