Dagenham and Redbridge star Paul Benson faces up to two months on the sidelines after going under the knife to solve an ongoing knee problem.
Benson, who leads the Daggers' scoring charts with 14 goals, could miss all but the last two games of the season - a significant blow to the club's promotion ambitions.
"Paul will have an operation on a knee problem, it has to be done, so he'll do it and then concentrate on his rehab," assistant manager Terry Harris told the Ilford Recorder.
Harris also reserved praise for Jon Nurse, who stood in for Benson at the weekend and could lead the line in the absence of the 29-year-old.
"I thought Jon Nurse came in up front and was excellent, he held the ball up well and gained a number of fouls on him," said Harris.