Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher is likely to be out for three months after being told he requires surgery on his dislocated shoulder.
The 32-year-old suffered the injury in Sunday's Barclays Premier League defeat at Tottenham.
Carragher underwent a thorough examination at the club's training ground yesterday but medical staff were unable to make a full assessment until this morning.
Carragher told the club's website, www.liverpoolfc.tv: "I'll be having surgery at the end of the week.
"The average is about 12 weeks. I'd like to come back before that but I've got to make sure it's right.
"It will probably be late February or early March when I'm looking to come back.
"It's difficult for me when I'm injured. It hasn't happened very often, and I'm very lucky with that I suppose, but maybe it's caught up with me a little bit now.
"I've been here before with a broken leg which put me out this length of time.
"It's not easy but you've got to get on with it, and it makes you more determined to get back.
"I'm sure towards the end of the season when people are maybe feeling a little bit tired I'll be raring to go."
The news is a huge blow for Liverpool, who are already without talismanic captain Steven Gerrard and Carragher's fellow defender Daniel Agger.
Gerrard is expected to be out for another three weeks with a hamstring injury sustained on England duty while Agger is hoping to return mid-December after a calf problem.
Carragher had captained the side in the absence of Gerrard at White Hart Lane when he was forced off with three minutes remaining.
Following his exit Liverpool conceded an injury-time goal to Aaron Lennon to lose 2-1, a defeat which leaves them 10th in the table.Reuse content