Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will miss the remainder of the season after electing to undergo surgery on a long-standing shoulder injury.
The midfielder has been a virtual ever-present in the 2012-13 Premier League campaign, missing just 22 minutes of action - all after being substituted late into his side's 6-0 win over Newcastle last month.
However, Gerrard has been playing through the pain barrier of late, with the club's official website revealing the injury had "progressively worsened" over time.
Liverpool have just two games remaining in the Premier League this season, with a trip to Fulham on Sunday followed by a clash with QPR at Anfield a week later.
Gerrard will be sidelined for both of those fixtures but is expected to return in time for the lucrative pre-season tour of Australia.
The 30-year-old is the third Liverpool player to undergo shoulder surgery this season, with Fabio Borini and Joe Allen both having spent lengthy spells out due to similar issues.