Hibs captain James McPake is facing months on the sidelines after boss Terry Butcher revealed that he is to go for back surgery.
McPake suffered the injury last season, and missed the Scottish Cup Final against Celtic after it flared up.
It was decided over the summer, that instead of going for surgery, The former Coventry defender would try resting it over summer break.
However, it flared up again during the Hibees 2nd leg Europa League clash with Malmo, and has seen the 29-year-old spend most of the season so far on the bench.
Hibs boss Butcher has now revealed that another flare up has caused the decision to be made, to send the player for surgery.
It will be next year before McPake is back, although a timescale has not been revealed.
"James trained two weeks ago and his back flared up again. He was going to have an operation at the end of last season but it was felt perhaps rest over the summer would be good. It hasn't been the case.
"He has had quite a few injections this season and it has come back to the scenario where an operation is hopefully going to sort things out and he can get back to action next year. We are looking forward to that very much.
"He has been a very good captain for Hibernian Football Club. Now he is not the captain and Liam Craig is, he has helped Liam out enormously with tasks and what to do. He has been fantastic."