Nottingham Forest midfielder Andy Reid needs an operation on his groin injury and may not return until March.
The 32-year-old has not played since September, but was hoping to be back in action in January.
However, Reid is now expected to be out for at least a further four weeks.
"We have seen four specialists and decided to go down this route and hope he gets back well before the end of the season," Reds manager Stuart Pearce told BBC Radio Nottingham.
"We have done the recovery on his injury which took him up to a certain level but couldn't break past a certain level of pain he was getting.
"Andy has been out a long time now so it is a blow to us and him, but he is quite upbeat it will solve the problem then off we go."