Tottenham have revealed Ledley King is to undergo a groin operation on Wednesday.
King has not played for Spurs since limping out of the 2-1 win over Fulham in October.
The 30-year-old has been blighted by injuries over the last few years and it remains to be seen how long the latest injury will sideline him for.
King's absence is a huge blow to boss Harry Redknapp as the club's defensive problems mount.
Younes Kaboul and William Gallas are both injured, while Michael Dawson is suspended following his red card against Fulham in Sunday's 4-0 FA Cup defeat.
Redknapp has revealed Jonathan Woodgate, who has been out for more than a year with groin problems of his own, may now be pressed into action sooner than the Spurs boss would have liked.
Woodgate could now be included in the squad for the first time this season for Wednesday's trip to Blackburn.
"Ledley will have an operation. He is nowhere near ready to play," said Redknapp.
"He is supposed to be having the operation tomorrow. We'll see how it goes."
GambleRedknapp admits playing Woodgate against Blackburn would be a massive gamble given the defender's injury problems.
"It's a massive gamble for me the club and for Woody for sure," added Redknapp.
"He has not played a game yet of any significance but he is in my mind because he is such a fantastic player.
"I'm dreaming that he can come in and be somewhere near what he was straight away which is not easy."
Redknapp admits Tottenham are down to the bare bones for the trip to Ewood Park with Gareth Bale and Tom Huddlestone also missing through injury.
"We have some key, very important players missing," noted Redknapp.
"Michael Dawson got sent off at the weekend, Younes Kaboul was in great form and then he was sent off for against Newcastle at home and now he has to have an operation on his knee so he's out.
"Gareth Bale and Tom Huddlestone are both missing. They are big players for us so we have been pushed into pushing Woodgate in way ahead of what I should be because we have problems with the squad."