Aston Villa defender Curtis Davies has undergone surgery to cure his ongoing shoulder problem.
Villa manager Martin O'Neill says he expects to be without the services of the former West Brom player for at least four months.
Davies has been troubled by the problem since his time with the Baggies and has suffered three recurrences of it over the last month.
He had hoped to avoid surgery but is now set to be out until 2010.
Davies, who has made 57 appearances since joining in August 2007, had a recurrence of the problem against Porto in the Peace Cup and in each of the two legs of the Europa League qualifier with Rapid Vienna
Former Villa striker Luke Moore - now with West Brom - encountered a similar problem and was sidelined for four months.
O'Neill had already been making plans for Davies' absence by signing Richard Dunne and James Collins from Manchester City and West Ham respectively before the transfer window closed.
O'Neill added: "The operation on Curtis went well and it was reasonably routine. He will obviously now be out for a fairly lengthy time.
"There is no exact timescale but these things usually clear up in four months plus."
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