Manchester City winger Martin Petrov has undergone an operation on his left knee and will face between three and four months on the sidelines.
The 29-year-old picked up the injury in a friendly while on international duty with Bulgaria and has now had an operation on the meniscus in his left knee.
Petrov had hoped that an initial period of working in the gym and strengthening the area around the knee would save him from going under the knife.
The news will disappoint City manager Mark Hughes, but the former Blackburn boss had already expressed his opinion that the winger would need an operation.
Petrov is said to be recovering well and City expect him to be back playing between March and April next year although no specific date has been set by the club.