Oldham Athletic have revealed that veteran goalkeeper Mark Crossley will be sidelined until March with a back injury.
The 39-year-old has recently been out of action with hamstring trouble and during his time out scans revealed a disc problem in his back.
Crossley, who has suffered with a serious back injury in the past, is now set for surgery on the injury in January.
Oldham medical chief Marc Czuczman said on the club's official website: "We saw the specialist yesterday and Mark was really happy with the report and how things went.
"The specialist said that if we did nothing the problem would right itself in around nine months.
"Therefore Mark will have the operation and should be out for anything between eight to ten weeks, making a return in March likely."
Scotland Under 21 shot-stopper Greg Fleming is now set for an extended run in John Sheridan's starting XI.