Blackburn defender Ryan Nelsen has been ruled out for the rest of the season after having a knee operation on Monday.
The New Zealander was forced off with the problem during last weekend's 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw against Birmingham and manager Steve Kean revealed there was no option but for Nelsen to go under the knife.
The centre-back partnership between Nelsen and captain Christopher Samba has been one of Blackburn's main strengths and the news is a major blow to their survival hopes.
Kean said of the operation: "It went well. The surgeon was happy about it and he had a full clearout.
"There were a lot of little bits of floating debris in his knee that he's been in a lot of pain with. He couldn't manage to go on. We're hopeful he'll be back in time for pre-season."