Derby midfielder Stephen Pearson will have a knee operation this week and is facing around four months on the sidelines.
The 27-year-old has enjoyed a splendid campaign, making a total of 42 appearances, but it has been known for some time that he requires surgery.
And as the Rams have little left to play for in their final Championship game, Pearson is scheduled to go under the knife on Thursday.
The Scot will not recover in time for the start of next season but manager Nigel Clough hopes that by sending him for an operation now he will not miss too much action.
Clough explained: "Stephen will be out for probably four months, so straight away he will not be available for pre-season and the first month or six weeks of next season.
"But we have to utilise the two to two-and-a-half months of the summer now.
"The operation really should have been planned after he got sent off against Ipswich - even then we would have gained two weeks.
"The good thing is he is a fit lad anyway and will probably not need as much fitness work as others to come back."