By far and away the best Wigan Athletic player Maloney's injury is bad news for Latics boss Owen Coyle who confirmed: "Shaun had an existing hip injury when we came into the club over the summer. He tried to play through that, which we thought might be manageable for the season.
"But when he was away with Scotland, he picked up a back injury that had actually led from the existing hip injury. So he will now go in for that hip operation.
"It's certainly fair to say he will be out for a minimum of three months. Obviously, when the surgeon opens him up, there is a chance it could be longer than that."
The prognosis is non too optimistic with surgery required and a minimum spell on the sidelines of three months which would mean a January return for the striker.
A more realistic time frame is likely to be six months which puts us back to April and the final month of the season.