Brentford star Sam Saunders faces a further spell on the sidelines after going under the knife in a bid to fix a niggling knee injury.
The midfielder bagged four goals in his last five games and scooped the League One player of the month prize for December, but hasn't featured since the win against Port Vale five weeks ago.
The 30-year-old has now undergone surgery to try and solve the problem and get him back in time for the run in.
"Sam began having knee symptoms over the heavy Christmas games period and was still being troubled by this during the Port Vale game in early January," Brentford head of medical Neil Greig told the club website.
"Our initial investigations suggested that the condition would resolve with appropriate rest and treatment, however despite Sam's best efforts, he has been unable to progress back to training at his usual high levels.
"Given the lack of progress and after consultation with a leading Orthopaedic knee specialist, the decision has been taken to explore the knee via a minor 'keyhole' procedure, with the aim of rectifying Sam's niggling issue and returning him for the important run of games towards the end of the season.
"I have no doubt that Sam will return fitter and stronger than ever, given his fantastic attitude and work ethic, and we will offer him every support possible in order to do so."