Bolton boss Gary Megson has revealed that Joey O'Brien has undergone a minor knee operation.
The midfielder has been hampered by a niggling injury for some time and recently headed to America to consult with renowned specialist Dr Richard Steadman.
It was decided that surgery was the best course of action, with the procedure subsequently carried out.
O'Brien is now facing up to six weeks on the sidelines, but Megson is hoping the Republic of Ireland international can put the issue to rest upon his return.
"Joey's been out for a good part of the season, he has had problems throughout his career with injuries of various kinds," said the Trotters boss.
"He has gone over to see Dr Steadman in America. He has had a knee operation, but I'm told it wasn't a massive thing.
"We are hopeful that with a good rehab behind him he could be back in five to six weeks. It was a little bit more than a wash out, but it was nothing major."
Meanwhile, Megson is hoping that his side can secure their Premier League status for next season as soon as possible.
"What's happened this season is that the bottom of the table are still in with a really good shout, and I mean rock-bottom," he added.
"There's been times in the last few seasons when the bottom team has been right out at this stage.
"There are about 13 or 14 teams that can't say they're safe yet, but as the weeks go by that's going to get less and less and we want to be one of those sides that drops out and ensures we stay up as quickly as we can."