Jermain Defoe is set to miss the next three months of the season - and likely Tottenham Hotspur's entire Champions League group stage - as he recovers from an operation on his ankle.
Defoe had already put off surgery on a troublesome groin problem but a knock received against Switzerland during England's 3-1 win in Basel required more urgent care and after seeing a specialist, the striker went under the knife on Thursday evening.
A statement on Spurs' official website flew in the face of expectations that his absence will only be for six weeks: "Following a review by an ankle specialist, Jermain Defoe underwent surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right ankle yesterday evening.
"The striker was forced off with the injury during England's European Championship qualifier in Switzerland on Tuesday and has been ruled out of action for around three months."
He will also miss England's next Euro 2012 qualifier, at home to Montenegro in October, and leave Harry Redknapp without his frontline striker, opening up opportunities for the lesser-spotted likes of Roman Pavlyuchenko and Robbie Keane. That duo can now expect to face the likes of FC Twente, Inter Milan and Werder Bremen in Champions League Group A.