Wolverhampton Wanderers' Algerian international Adlene Guedioura will miss the beginning of the season because of a minor ankle operation.
He will undergo surgery this week and is expected to be out for six weeks.
"Adlene's got to have an operation but unfortunately that's part and parcel of football," manager Mick McCarthy told the club's official website.
Any surgery means that Guedioura, 25, will miss Algeria's 2012 Nations Cup qualifier in Tanzania in September.
A six-week delay means the midfielder, who missed six months of last season after breaking his leg, is only likely to be available towards the end of September.
Wolves host Queen's Park Rangers on 17 September, although the away trip to Liverpool a week later could be a more realistic target for any return.
"Following a complication, my right ankle has to undergo a minor surgery that will allow me to be back on top quickly," Guedioura tweeted on Monday.
Algeria, who qualified for the 2010 World Cup, currently prop up Group D of Nations Cup qualifying - albeit just three points behind leaders Morocco with two matches left.
After facing Tanzania in September, they host Central African Republic with the 1990 African champions realistically needing to win both matches to make January's Nations Cup finals.