Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson will miss the final three games of the Barclays Premier League season after undergoing surgery on a hernia.
The Black Cats today confirmed that the 26-year-old had been allowed to have an operation in Manchester earlier this week in a bid to be fit for Sweden's Euro 2012 finals campaign.
Larsson underwent what is described as a "minor" procedure and will now sit out Saturday's home game against Bolton, the trip to Fulham and the final-day clash with title hopefuls Manchester United.
The winger told the club's official website, www.safc.com: "I have had problems with groin pain for a couple of weeks now.
"I am extremely grateful to the club supporting me and giving me this opportunity to have the operation immediately.
"This means the conditions to be prepared for Euro 2012 are much better than if I had to wait until the end of the season.
"With this solution, I will have a couple of weeks for rehabilitation and after that, hopefully I will be able to practice in full with the Swedish team - under the condition I am selected."
Larsson, who joined the Black Cats on a free transfer from relegated Birmingham last summer, has enjoyed a fine first season on Wearside, making 39 appearances and scoring eight goals.
He is currently level with Stephane Sessegnon in the leading scorer stakes, although the Benin international now has the opportunity to claim that title for himself.
On the international front, Larsson will hope the surgery will allow him to play a full part for his country in Poland and Ukraine this summer.
The Swedes have been drawn in the same group as England and will open their campaign against co-hosts Ukraine in Kiev on June 11.