Philippe Mexes is facing up to another spell on the sidelines after it was revealed that he requires an operation on his injured hand.
The French defender was forced to delay his debut for AC Milan this season as he arrived at the club nursing a knee problem.
The 29-year-old centre-half finally made his bow in a 4-1 victory over Parma on 26th October, but has now suffered a fresh setback.
He damaged his hand in training last week and was forced to sit out Milan's 3-2 victory over his former employers Roma as a result.
It has now been decided that he will require surgery, with Mexes due to go under the knife on Monday.
Early reports suggest he will be unavailable for France's upcoming friendly internationals against the United States and Belgium, as well as domestic duty.
Milan doctor Rodolfo Tavana said: "It's a simple procedure to stabilise a fracture in his left hand.
"Two small screws will be inserted and then he will have to protect the hand. Without this operation, the player would have had to be in plaster for 45 days."