Manchester City midfielder Michael Johnson is set to be sidelined for four weeks after undergoing groin surgery.
Johnson has been struggling with the groin problem for some time and he was forced off with the injury at half-time of City's 1-0 win over Sunderland on Monday.
City have decided to send the England Under 21 international under the knife and City chief Sven Goran Eriksson expects Johnson to be out of action for up to a month.
Operation"He's had his operation on his groin problem and if we are lucky we could have back after the international break but I'm not sure exactly," Eriksson told the club's official website. "He will be away for three or four weeks.
"It's a pity but we had to do something, because he started the season so well but over the last month he has had problems, being not able to train every second day.
"As a youngster he needs to train without pain so we had to do something, it's better this way."
Meanwhile, Eriksson has defended Stephen Ireland's decision to make himself unavailable for the Republic of Ireland.
The talented midfielder has asked not be involved in any internationals for the forseeable future because of some personal problems
Ireland provoked outrage in his homeland after lying about the death of his grandmothers to be sent home from international duty.
Republic of Ireland consultant Sir Bobby Robson launched a scathing attack on Ireland earlier this week claiming he needed counselling.
Eriksson has jumped to the defence of Ireland and believes he should return to international football next season.
Backing"It would be better for Stephen to wait until next season to play for his country again," said Eriksson.
"They are at the end of this qualifying campaign and they cannot qualify. The importan games, the World Cup qualifiers start next September.
"I shall tell Bobby my feelings.
"Stephen has some problems but he is not causing me any problems.
"He is a very good player and I just tell him, 'Just go and play good football, Stephen.' And that's it."