On-loan Ipswich defender Jay McEveley has returned to Blackburn Rovers for surgery on his torn medial ligaments.
The 20-year-old, who was on a season-long loan at Portman Road, is out for the season after being injured in the2-1 defeat at Cardiff on Monday.
Ipswich boss Joe Royle said: "It is quite normal for clubs to want their own surgeons to operate.
"That is technichally the end of the loan obviously and it is a real shame for both us and Jay."
Royle added: "There is no doubt that he has all the attributes to become a top-class left-back so for something like this to happen when he is progressing so well is a real tragedy in a football sense."
Ipswich will now look for a loan replacement for McEveley in the January transfer window.
McEveley has been capped by England at Under-20 and Under-21 level.
However, he is considering switching his allegiance to Scotland - and had been handed a call-up to a Scotland Futures get-together next week.
McEveley is eligible to play for Scotland through his grandfather.