Stoke City could be without Ibrahim Afellay for the remainder of the season after the Netherlands international underwent surgery following another knee problem.
Afellay has been plagued by injury throughout his career and only recently returned from a serious knee injury, having previously experienced a similar problem during his time at Barcelona.
However, the 31-year-old is now unlikely to play any further part in a campaign in which he has only played 13 times.
"Unfortunately Ibrahim Afellay has a bit of a problem with his knee and is likely to be out for four or five weeks," manager Mark Hughes said at a news conference.
"He has gone back to Barcelona to see the surgeon who has worked with him before and has undertaken a small operation.
"There was a little problem in his knee but hopefully the procedure will help clear that up.
"With there only being six games of the season left it is unlikely that he will feature again unfortunately, but we will wait and see about that."
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