Sunderland AFC's Jason McAteer will not return until at least February after a second hernia operation.
Sunderland AFC's Jason McAteer will be out of action for a further two months after undergoing a second hernia operation at the weekend.
The Republic of Ireland midfield player suffered a relapse after the initial operation and was told he needed further surgery after seeing a specialist.
The 31-year-old has been missing since September and is unlikely to return before the end of February. His absence adds to Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson's injury worries with Claudio Reyna, Matt Piper, Julio Arca, Thomas Sørensen, Thomas Myhre and Thomas Butler all still sidelined.