Reading winger Bobby Convey will miss the rest of the season because he requires further surgery on his troublesome knee injury.
Convey played a key role in Reading's promotion last year
The United States star had an operation in December on the problem, which he sustained at the 2006 World Cup.
Manager Steve Coppell said: "His knee is flawed. We want him to have surgery to ensure he's 100% by next season."
Coppell also hopes midfielder Steve Sidwell, whose contract runs out in the summer, will be at the club next term.
Coppell added: "He knows our position; we would love him to sign on but it is for other teams to persuade him to sign with them.
Given our circumstances, we have the opportunity now to do something about it and hopefully correct it
Manager Steve Coppell on Bobby Convey's injury
"If he can get something elsewhere that tickles his fancy then we're resigned to losing him. But we are ever hopeful that he will feel his future is here because he knows he is going to play here."
Reading's bid to keep Sidwell will have been strengthened by their form this year, with the Royals currently sixth in the Premiership and still in the FA Cup, having earned a fifth-round replay with Manchester United last weekend.
And Coppell admits the club's unexpected success, and the form of Stephen Hunt on the wing, has also enabled him to try to solve Convey's knee injury.
"I have no doubt that he could have played on to the end of the season," he said.
"But we don't want him coming back in pre-season and him saying 'it still doesn't feel right'.
"Given our circumstances, we have the opportunity now to do something about it and hopefully correct it."