Southend striker Barry Corr has undergone surgery in a bid to finally end his knee troubles.
The 26-year-old, United's top scorer last season with 21 goals, has not featured since the end of April due to the knee complaint.
Having worked hard over the summer and increased his rehabilitation of late, Corr had been making slow but steady progress. Yet the problem continued to cause pain and after considering their options, Southend on Tuesday finally turned to keyhole surgery.
Corr is now hoping to return before the end of the campaign. Club physio Ben Clarkson told Southend's official website: "Barry had been doing rehab and was progressing really well. He was back in training and even played in some behind-closed-doors games.
"However, the tendon and knee gradually became sore again, past the level of soreness he was expected to work within. Unfortunately that meant the time had come where we sought further opinion.
"There was the option to rehab for another eight weeks with no guarantees it would be successful or have an operation now which we had been trying to prevent. This is an unusual type of injury and is a little bit unchartered in football especially, with even the tendon specialists not having much experience of dealing with it."