Leicester defender Aleksandar Tunchev is set to be out of action for six months after undergoing knee surgery this week.
The 28-year-old was just three games into a comeback from an anterior knee ligament he received in January 2009, when he damaged his knee again in September.
The new problem is not related to the ligament tear and involves the cartilage in the joint.
The Bulgaria international had a course of injections last month in a bid to avoid an operation but they were unsuccessful and he will now struggle to be fit for next term.
Foxes boss Nigel Pearson told the Leicester Mercury: "He had a scan on Tuesday and had an operation on Wednesday, so we are looking at the start of next season now to get him back.
"He has had the micro-fracture operation and the recovery is four to six months, and he will be ready for the start of next season."
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