Wolves winger Michael Kightly has been ruled out for the rest of the season after finally having surgery on his persistent ankle injury.
Michael Kightly has made two abortive returns to action (Getty)
Kightly, 22, suffered the problem back in November and has reappeared twice since only to break down again.
"It is disappointing," Wolves manager Mick McCarthy told BBC WM.
"When he made the brief appearance against Cambridge we saw the impact he had when he scored one and made one. He'll miss the rest of the season."
Wolves put off surgery in the hope that Kightly would be able to recover more quickly from the injury, after Kightly limped out of the 0-0 Black Country derby draw against West Bromwich Albion on 25 November.
He appeared as a substitute in the FA Cup games against Cambridge on 5 January and Watford three weeks later, but has not been fit enough to play in a League game for three months.
It's always been a bit of a false dawn that Kights was coming back
"It's very hard to take," Kightly told his club's website, prior to going under the knife on Friday. "But I'm trying to look at positives and the fact that I could be back at the end of the season. If we make the play-offs that would be an incentive for me.
"I just want it sorted and, if an operation's going to do the trick, then that's what I need to do.
"I've been just watching the lads for the last three months and to not be involved has been a killer."
McCarthy has indicated that he is unlikely to look for a loan signing to replace Kightly, following the improved form of Stephen Elliott on the right-hand side.
"I've tried a number of people there," McCarthy said. "It's always been a bit of a false dawn that Kights was coming back after two weeks, and four weeks, and six weeks.
"But Stephen, when he's played there, has been excellent, and he certainly was last week at Crystal Palace."