Carl Dickinson is to have an exploratory operation to determine the severity of his knee injury.
The full-back joined Barnsley on loan in September and was due to see out the remainder of the season at Oakwell.
However, he suffered knee ligament damage against Crystal Palace last weekend and is now facing up to a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Dickinson was returned to Stoke upon being struck down by injury and has undergone scans since heading back to the Britannia Stadium.
However, the full extent of the problem is not yet known, meaning he will now be forced under the knife.
It remains unclear how long he will be out of action for, but Barnsley boss Mark Robins admits his side may have seen the last of the combative 22-year-old.
"We will be without Carl Dickinson again tomorrow for the game at Ipswich," he told his club's official website.
"Carl has returned to Stoke City and will have an exploratory operation on his knee next week to determine the extent of the injury.
"We will find out more then but it is probably looking like he will miss the rest of the season."