Everton's woeful start to the season has suffered a further setback with Lee Carsley being ruled out for six weeks.
The midfielder originally had summer surgery on a medial ligament injury he suffered in last term's final game.
Carsley, 31, was expected back for the start of the season but has been forced to undergo a second knee operation.
The club's medical staff were concerned at his slow rehabilitation and during surgery it was discovered a piece of the ligament was not healing properly.
Carsley suffered knee ligament damage at Bolton in May and then had a recurrence on Everton's pre-season trip to Thailand.
It is now hoped the Republic of Ireland international will be back in action in late November to help boost an Everton side which is languishing at the foot of the Premiership table.
Everton finished fourth last season but since then it has been all downhill.
The Toffees have crashed out of the Champions League and the Uefa Cup and have scored just one goal and earned only a single win in seven Premiership games.
Manager David Moyes has previously described Carsley as "a terrific character" and a player the team rely on.