Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has suffered another injury blow with the news midfielder Tom Huddlestone is to undergo ankle surgery which will rule him out for three months.
The decision to go under the knife came following an extensive consultation period and will rule the 23-year-old out of key Champions League group fixtures and the club's busy Christmas fixture schedule.
"Following consultation with several independent ankle specialists, it has been determined that Tom Huddlestone will undergo surgery on his right ankle," read a statement on club website www.tottenhamhotspur.com. "The procedure is likely to rule the England international out of action for around three months."
Huddlestone has been a virtual ever-present this season but in recent weeks had seen his game time rationed due to the ankle problem, which has required a series of injections.
The former Derby midfielder joins a growing injury list at White Hart Lane, which has already left Redknapp without the likes of Ledley King, Michael Dawson, Jermain Defoe, Jonathan Woodgate, Aaron Lennon, Jamie O'Hara and Robbie Keane.
The loss of Huddlestone comes amid the build-up to this weekend's north London derby against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
The injury also rules him out of high-profile Barclays Premier League games with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.
In addition, Huddlestone will be absent from two key European games against Werder Bremen and FC Twente in the coming weeks, with a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League at stake.
Should Spurs progress to the last 16, Huddlestone would be hopeful of featuring, with those fixtures due to begin in mid-February.