Hartlepool United have confirmed that Michael Proctor has been ruled out for three months after undergoing surgery on a knee problem.
The striker, who joined Pools from Rotherham United in the summer, looked set for a return to action when he returned to training two weeks ago following initial treatment on the injury.
However, he still felt discomfort in the knee so it was decided he should go under the knife to cure the problem once and for all.
Pools boss Danny Wilson told the club's official website: "Everything has gone as well as can be expected.
"He's going to be out for around 12 weeks which is a blow for us and the lad but hopefully he can get back as soon as possible and challenge for a place."