Hull City striker Nikica Jelavic is facing a minimum of six weeks on the sidelines following surgery on a long-standing knee problem.
Jelavic, 29, is Hull's top scorer with eight goals despite being absent for a number of games with the injury.
He is set to miss Premier League games against Chelsea, Swansea, Southampton, Liverpool and Crystal Palace.
The Tigers sit three points above the relegation zone with nine matches remaining.
|Hull City's Premier League run-in|
|22 Mar: v Chelsea (H)||2 May: v Arsenal (H)|
|4 Apr: v Swansea (A)||9 May: v Burnley (H)|
|11 Apr: v Southampton (A)||16 May: v Tottenham (A)|
|18 Apr: v Liverpool (H)||24 May: v Man Utd (H)|
|25 Apr: v Crystal Palace (A)||League position: 15th. Pts: 28|
The club said in a statement that they had hoped to manage Jelavic's knee through until the end of the season.
But after last weekend's goalless draw with Leicester it was decided the surgery should take place "as soon as possible to prevent further damage and complications in the future".
Should Jelavic's rehabilitation go as scheduled, he could return in early May, meaning he could still play a part in the club's bid to preserve their Premier League status.
The Croat has been played alongside new signing Dame N'Doye in recent weeks. His injury could open the door for record signing Abel Hernandez to earn an extended run in the side.