Hull City winger Stephen Hunt will miss their final five games of the season with a foot injury.
Hunt, who joined the Tigers from Reading last summer and has scored six times in 27 appearances this season, has been sidelined since mid-February with the problem.
"It's a big blow," caretaker manager Iain Dowie told the club's official website.
"Whenever you lose your top goalscorer, it's going to be a blow. Stephen couldn't settle down and the pain returned.
"The surgeon had a look at it and decided to pin a little bone in there.
"It's disappointing for the lad. I spoke to him this morning and he is bitterly disappointed."
The Tigers are languishing down in 19th place in the Premier League table following last weekend's 4-1 defeat to fellow strugglers Burnley and are in serious danger of being relegated back to the Championship after two years in the top-flight.