Chelsea hope defender Wayne Bridge will be back within a month after undergoing a cartilage operation.
Bridge has been struggling with the knee problem for some time now and the Premiership champions have decided to repair the damage.
The defender will now miss England's Euro 2008 qualifiers with Israel and Andorra.
Chelsea had hoped the ex-Southampton player would be able to soldier on, but now hope to have the England man back in action within a month.
"He had been struggling with pain at the back of the knee for about three weeks," explained club doctor Bryan English.
"A scan confirmed that he had a tear in the meniscus, the shock absorber in the joint, but it was a stable tear.
"We thought we may be able to leave it to the end of the season but it got to the stage where he was struggling to do a flat-out sprint so we thought it would be best to get it done.
"When we had this operation done on Damien Duff, we had him back and playing in three weeks and we hope that will be the same with Bridgey.
"But you always wait for the operation to be done to see what that the prognosis is going to be."