Skysports.com understands Sunderland midfielder Dickson Etuhu has been ruled out for the rest of the season through injury.
Etuhu has been struggling with a knee problem for the last few weeks and scans have shown he requires surgery.
The powerful midfielder last figured for Sunderland in the 1-0 defeat to Portsmouth in February.
The surgery is not serious, but will sideline the former Norwich man for the remainder of the campaign.
The news is a blow for Black Cats boss Roy Keane as he looks to secure his side's safety in the Premier League.