Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky will miss the Czech Republic's opening World Cup qualifier and could not be returning to the national side until October.
The Gunners star underwent hamstring surgery in May after an injury-plagued season where the 27-year-old started just 15 games.
And Czech coach Petr Rada has admitted that the influential midfielder will miss the 2010 qualifier against Northern Ireland and is expected to return in two months' time.
"I initially thought he might be ready," Rada told Denik Sport.
"But he said to me that the prognosis is different and he will not return for Northern Ireland.
"He might possibly play for the international team during October."
With Rosicky's omission from the national side, Rada has been given a boost from veteran Jan Koller who has signalled he could return to the squad.