Aston Villa defender Carlos Cuellar has undergone knee surgery and will be out of action for up to three months.
Cuellar, 29, postponed having the operation because of injuries to Richard Dunne and James Collins. But Villa have confirmed the Spanish player has now gone under the knife and is battling to be fit for the start of next season.
The defender, who signed from Rangers for nearly £8million three years ago, has had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. He was a bit-part player for Villa this season with his knee problem, as well as a drop down the pecking order behind Dunne, Collins and Ciaran Clark, restricting him to 12 Premier League starts, the last of which was in March.
There has been speculation linking him with a move back to Spain with either Villarreal or Espanyol. But Cuellar has stated his desire to remain with Villa and caretaker manager Gary McAllister insisted he had a part to play with the midlands club.