Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has been told he needs knee surgery after struggling with the injury in the opening weeks of the campaign.
The 20-year-old has only made one substitute appearance for Roberto Mancini's side, in the Europa League game in Romania against FC Timisoara when he scored the only goal of the game.
However, the former Inter Milan star has failed to recover from the knock he picked up in that game and, after suffering a setback in his recovery from the injury, it has been decided that an operation is his best option.
A statement on the club's official website read: "The Italian's injury is to the lateral meniscus, one of the two most crucial structures in the knee, and medical wisdom is to try and encourage the problem to heal without recourse to an operation.
"It was hoped that the symptoms would settle down, but once Balotelli began to step up his recovery programme this week, it became clear that action would need to be taken."
It is anticipated that Balotelli could be sidelined for up to six weeks and he is expected to miss the key Premier League match against Chelsea as well as the Europa League encounter with Juventus.