Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard will miss England's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Switzerland following a hernia operation.
Lampard limped out of Saturday's 2-0 victory over Stoke City – in which he missed an early penalty – and afterwards manager Carlo Ancelotti revealed the need for surgery.
The 32-year-old midfielder is likely to be sidelined for two weeks so will miss the two forthcoming international games in a blow to manager Fabio Capello.
"It is a very easy surgery but he has started to feel pain and he needs to have the operation," revealed Ancelotti.
"We have already spoken with the national team to explain the situation."
Chelsea maintained their 100 per cent start to the season following victory over the Potters which came via goals from Florent Malouda and a late Didier Drogba penalty.
Afterwards a content Ancelotti explained:"I was happy because we won but we didn't have a good, high tempo. It was not our best performance.
"The tempo was not continuous but we didn't concede. We kept another clean sheet and stayed top of the table.
"We worked very hard this week. The players had a very strong week and so they were not so sharp."