Tottenham Hotspur captain Michael Dawson will be out of action for the rest of the year after undergoing surgery on a troublesome Achilles.
The 27-year-old has been absent from the Spurs team since August's heavy defeat to Manchester City.
Attempts to return were hampered by a reoccurrence of the problem while jogging with the rest of the squad.
A club statement read: "Michael Dawson has today undergone surgery to his right achilles tendon to assist with his recovery.
"Medical staff are pleased with his progress and he will be reviewed by the surgeon in early December, at which time a date for a return to full training will be determined."
Manager Harry Redknapp said last month he expected the England centre-back to be on the sidelines for a long period of time.
"At the moment he's not feeling happy with it. It could be a long-term problem for him," he said.
"Michael started to run but didn't feel good. He felt the same pain, had another scan and now has to go to a specialist on Wednesday again to see why.
"An operation would be a long job, we're hoping there is nothing there and it's part of what he'll feel from scar tissue or something. The last resort is an operation."
Dawson's absence will not only hurt Tottenham's bid to lay the foundations for a push at a Champions League spot, but also affect his attempts to win a place in Fabio Capello's England squad for next summer's European Championships
The former Nottingham Forest man is missing from the Italian's squad for the friendly double-header against Spain and Sweden, after injury also prevented him being selected for England's final Euro 2012 qualifier.