Everton defender Phil Jagielka will not return before the new year following a setback in his recovery from a cruciate knee ligament injury.
The 27-year-old England defender picked up the injury against Manchester City in April and was hoping to be back in action in November.
However, a setback has necessitated a second round of surgery and Toffees boss David Moyes now believes a January return is more likely for Jagielka.
"Phil had an operation on a tear in his meniscus, the cartilage in his knee," he told the club's official website.
"We think it has set him back four to six weeks. He was down initially but he's on the road to recovery now.
"It's disappointing as Phil was due to start light non-contact training this week.
"It was just part of his rehabilitation. When you get your cruciate done, it nearly always damages the cartilage.
"Most people who now have their cruciates done, it does sort of rip the cartilage. Joe Cole had the same thing and that's what has happened with Jags.
"But even if Jags comes back in six weeks that's still a pretty good recovery as it's usually seven to seven-and-a-half months after a cruciate.
"At the moment it's six months, which is a bit sharpish to return. If Jags is seven months then it's not outrageous, it's just a little setback."