Jonathan Walters could be a doubt for the Republic of Ireland's crucial World Cup 2018 qualifier against Wales on March 24 after Stoke confirmed he will undergo minor knee surgery.
The forward's knee swelled up after he scored the Potters' only goal in their December 27 4-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.
He has scored twice in nine starts and seven substitute appearances for Stoke this year.
"We are missing Jonny Walters unfortunately, who is suffering a problem with his knee," manager Mark Hughes told the Stoke Sentinel.
"As a consequence of that he is going to be missing for a little bit, so that leaves us short up front to be perfectly honest."
The 33-year-old, who was named Ireland's Player of the Year in 2015 after scoring crucial goals in Euro 2016 qualifying, had surgery to repair knee cartilage in March last year.
Although Walters recovered to make the final squad for the tournament, an Achilles problem then restricted him to just 90 total minutes on the pitch between the games against Sweden and France.