Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan has refuted claims from Australian counterpart Pim Verbeek that Mark Viduka requires a summer operation.
Earlier in the week, Verbeek claimed the veteran striker would miss a series of World Cup qualifiers next month as he required surgery on an Achilles problem.
But Keegan believes Viduka requires only a pain-killing injection to play on until the end of the season before a period of rest in the summer.
The Magpies take on Chelsea on Monday at St James' Park before a final day trip to Everton.
"He doesn't need an operation. He's going to have and injection and we'll decide whether it's before the game against Everton, and he'll miss that, or after," revealed Keegan.
"When I say we'll decide, that will be the doctor at the club, myself and Mark in particular.
"If he wants to play the last game and he's fit enough to do so, then he'll have that choice.
"But it is an injection and he can go away then and by the time he comes back to us, he should be then free of any pain there and ready for pre-season.
"Obviously, every player wants a good pre-season because it's the basis of the season, it's the foundation upon which the season is built for a player."