Port Vale striker Marc Richards requires surgery on the troublesome ankle injury he has been struggling with this season.
Richards suffered the injury during the summer and has been in and out of the squad so far this campaign. The 29-year-old remains available for selection but will undergo an operation at some stage.
"An operation is required, although it is unlikely he will do any further damage by playing at the minute," Vale physio Andy Foster told the club's official website. "Surgery is something that needs to be done but it is manageable at the minute. It is the same injury that he picked up in pre-season.
"The scans initially didn't pick anything up. However, further scans have now suggested that it is a disruption of an old injury that he suffered eight years ago - a fracture.
"We are able to manage it and he is able to play which is why he has had periods of shut down throughout the season, to help him to come back and play games."
Vale have also confirmed that Gareth Owen could be set for a spell on the sidelines after the defender broke his left hand in training this week.