Southampton manager Alan Pardew has admitted that defender Graeme Murty will be sidelined for some time.
The 35-year-old full-back had been out for over a month with ankle ligament damage and has now been forced to go under the knife.
There are fears that he might not return this season and Pardew admits it is a blow for the club and especially the player.
"Unfortunately it looks like Graeme is out for a while," said Pardew.
"It's a shame. He's in the autumn or winter part of his career now where he doesn't need injuries of this type, so it's very unfortunate as that will take a while to recover from."
Murty will be out of contract in the summer, and Pardew added: "We might have to look at each other at the end of the season and see where we are going from there."