Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given may have played his last game for the club after being told he faces a season-ending spell on the sidelines to deal with a long-standing shoulder problem.
Given, 34, injured his shoulder in the warm-up ahead of City's Europa League game at Aris Salonika last week, less than 12 months after a discloation of the same joint curtailed his 2009-10 season and ultimately contributed to Joe Hart replacing him as the club's No. 1.
After being examined by a specialist in London on Wednesday, the Ireland goalkeeper has been told he needs surgery, which will keep him out for three months and ensure he misses the rest of the season.
And as the former Newcastle custodian is expected to leave Eastlands in the summer, having become disillusioned with life as a City substitute, it would appear that he will not play for Roberto Mancini's side again.
"Shay has this problem in his shoulder and I think he needs three months to recover,'' Mancini said. "He has the same injury that he had last year and I think that he needs an operation.
"I am disappointed for him because we have lost a good goalkeeper. Last year we had the problem in the last three games because we lost him to injury and I hope this year it is not the same.''
Former City manager Mark Hughes is reportedly ready to offer the veteran a chance at Fulham, while Celtic are another club believed to be interested in the Irishman's services.
News of Given's injury is also a big blow for Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni, who will need to find a suitable replacement No. 1 for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Macedonia next month.
City will have Stuart Taylor as their substitute goalkeeper for the Europe League second leg against Aris on Thursday, but Mancini may be tempted to recall either David Gonzalez or Gunnar Nielsen, who are on loan at Leeds and Tranmere respectively.
Asked if he would recall David Gonzales from his loan spell at Leeds, Mancini said: "Probably. We can take David from Leeds - we don't have many more options.''