Salford City Reds' talks with assistant coach Malcolm Alker appear to have broken down after it emerged he filed a grievance with the Super League club.
The former Salford skipper, who retired last season, met club officials for discussions yesterday.
But a club statement on Wednesday read: "We can confirm Malcolm is taking time away to undergo surgery on his neck.
"The club also confirm that Malcolm has lodged a formal grievance with the club which is now being investigated."
The 32-year-old former hooker was accompanied to yesterday's meeting with chief executive Dave Tarry by union representatives.
It was his first appointment with the club since being sent home from training by football director Steve Simms more than two weeks ago.
The club are already without head coach Shaun McRae, who has been on sick leave since the beginning of March.
The club's other assistant, Phil Veivers, will remain in charge for Friday's home game against Warrington and the trip to Huddersfield next Tuesday.