England manager Fabio Capello will be on crutches for several weeks after undergoing surgery in Italy on Wednesday to replace his left kneecap.
The 63-year-old is likely to be on crutches and it could actually be months before he is fully mobile.
England are due to play their next World Cup warm-up fixture against Egypt at Wembley on March 3 - so it is doubtful that the coach would be able to his usual self on the touchline against a side picked due to their similarities to World Cup group rivals Algeria. However, he is confident of being in the dugout.
It is unlikely he will be seen at Premier League matches, as he usually is, for some time. Franco Baldini, the Italian's assistant, will be the boss' eyes in the interim.
Football Association director of communications Adrian Bevington said: "Fabio has suffered with problems to his knee for a long time due to injuries sustained during his playing career, and has been left with no option but to have replacement surgery.
"He delayed the operation until after qualification for the World Cup had been achieved and at a time when England do not have a game.
Fabio is planning to be in Warsaw at the beginning of February for the Euro 2012 draw and in South Africa for the World Cup team workshop later in February.
"He will be following all of the football on television while recovering from the operation. Our next match is not until March 3 at Wembley against Egypt and Fabio expects to fine by then.
"Fabio Capello and the FA would ask all media to respect his privacy while he has the operation and during his recovery.
"Franco [Baldini] will watch England's group opponents Algeria and all of the African nations who have qualified for the World Cup."