Borussia Dortmund have confirmed that captain Sebastian Kehl has undergone more surgery on his troublesome groin.
The midfielder missed the whole of pre-season after having an operation on his groin in May.
However, the problem has not gone away and has hampered Kehl's progress this season with the German international failing to make a single appearance.
There have been rumours that the latest bout of surgery could keep the 29-year-old out for the remainder of the season but team doctor Markus Braun insisted it was necessary.
However, Braun raised hopes of an early return to action after stating that the former Freiburg man could be back in action by February.
"Sebastian Kehl has been plagued by these struggles of late," he told the club's official website.
"The decision was made that he needs a new surgery. This will definitely put him out until February 2010.
"We have to wait and see how he will progress then."