Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will miss up to two Premier League games and England's forthcoming World Cup qualifiers after being sent for groin surgery.
The midfielder was part of the side that laboured to a 1-0 Champions League qualifying win over Standard Liege on Wednesday but, speaking after the extra-time success, Reds boss Rafael Benitez revealed his skipper was set to go under the knife.
Gerrard will now miss Liverpool's trip to Aston Villa on Sunday and possibly the visit of bitter rivals Manchester United to Anfield on September 13.
He will also sit out England's clashes with Andorra and Croatia in between the two league fixtures.
"We decided that Steven would play through the pain against Liege and then have the operation," revealed Benitez.
"He may not be fit for the Manchester United game, but he certainly will be okay for the first (Champions League) group stage match next month.
"He has been playing some games in pain, not being 100 per cent fit, and we decided that this was the best moment for the operation.
"He had a problem for the first game with Liege and also when he went away to play for England in their friendly last week against the Czech Republic.
"We talked with the doctor yesterday and today and it was decided that Steven would play in this match with the pain, but now we will have to get the situation solved."
Meanwhile, Benitez admitted he was relieved after Dirk Kuyt's extra-time winner secured their place in the group stages.
"Obviously there is some relief with the result. We knew it would be a difficult game against a quick, well-organised team," he added.
"The positive was that we played a little better than recently. We want to win trophies but we also understand the need for money."