Charlton Athletic midfielder Zhi Zheng could be out of action until January after being sent for surgery on a foot injury.
The China international has made just two appearances for the Addicks following an injury plagued start to the new season and is now facing a second lengthy spell on the sidelines.
"We've lost him for two or three months," manager Alan Pardew told the club's official website.
"He was moaning about his foot prior to the Ipswich game (on October 4).
"We talked it over, but we felt it was just from an innocuous challenge in training - a knock that would go away - but when we sent him for a scan it showed there was an underlying problem."