Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott is facing up to two months on the sidelines following knee surgery.
Lescott, 27, is expected to be out of action until February following an operation to clear floating debris from his knee.
City boss Mark Hughes revealed the injury blow before his side's 3-0 defeat at Tottenham on Wednesday night.
"We've lost Joleon for six to eight weeks, that is a big loss to us," confirmed Hughes.
"It wasn't something that we expected this week but he saw the specialist in London and the decision was that he wouldn't be able to manage the injury, so it's better to get it done quickly and that's what we did."
Nedum Onuoha deputised for £22million summer signing Lescott at White Hart Lane alongside Kolo Toure.
Toure himself will be missing in January when he heads off to represent Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations.
"We weren't anticipating bringing any bodies in as a consequence of the African Nations but obviously, with the injury to Joleon, we may have to look at that," admitted Hughes.