Martin O'Neill has admitted Aston Villa central defender Curtis Davies may need surgery to cure the shoulder problem which is flaring up on a more regular basis.
Davies suffered a third recurrence of the injury in three weeks during Thursday's Europa League qualifier with Rapid Vienna at Villa Park.
O'Neill said: "I have spoken to Curtis, and so has the club doctor, and it is something we will look at when the international break takes place."
He added: "He is going to see a specialist on Tuesday or Wednesday, and that will be important. All decisions will be up to the player, but we will see.
"He is feeling upbeat again. But it is occurring more regularly than before - and it is something we all have to look at, myself as a manager, the doctor but more particularly the player himself."
O'Neill will never have any doubts about Davies' motivation.
"Curtis has got a great, great heart," he said.
"He wants to play, wants to go on playing and, from that aspect, he has nothing to prove to me. He has shown that dozens of times.
"He said it was a wee bit less painful than the last time it occurred, and usually it is one of those he will push to the side and get on with things.
"But at some stage you would have to suggest surgery might be the answer."
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