Aston Villa defender Curtis Davies has undergone surgery to cure his lengthy shoulder problem.
Villa manager Martin O'Neill expects to be without the services of the former West Brom player for a "fairly lengthy period of time".
Davies has been troubled by the problem since his days as a West Brom player.
But the setback has recurred three times in quick succession during the past month - against Porto in the Peace Cup and in each of the two legs of the Europa League qualifier with Rapid Vienna.
Davies had been hoping to avoid surgery but could now be out of action until the new year.
Former Villa striker Luke Moore - now with West Brom - encountered a similar problem and was sidelined for four months.
O'Neill had already been making plans for Davies' absence by signing Richard Dunne and James Collins from Manchester City and West Ham respectively before the transfer window closed on September 1.
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