All-rounder Andrew Flintoff faces a battle to feature in England's remaining matches this summer after undergoing surgery on his left ankle.
Flintoff missed the first two Tests because of his ankle problem
The England and Wales Cricket Board said "tissue contributing to anterior impingement" had been removed.
Flintoff missed the first two Tests against West Indies after continuing to experience pain during fitness tests.
And it could be that the one-day series against India in August and September are his target for a comeback.
The injury is said to be separate from the bone spur problem he had last year.
On that occasion Flintoff, who also had ankle surgery in January 2005, was out for three months but England believe he will return to action more quickly this time.
"Early signs are that the operation was routine and Andrew will begin his rehabilitation accordingly," an ECB statement read.
"Andrew will require a programme of strengthening and proprioceptive work before he can start to return to training and bowling.
"It is anticipated that he will aim to return to playing cricket before the end of the summer."
Flintoff is determined to bounce back from his third ankle operation.
He said earlier this week: "Having bounced back from ankle surgery before I know how much work is ahead of me but I'm desperate to get back playing for England as soon as possible."