Liverpool have confirmed that Steven Gerrard will miss the club's final two games of the season after he undergoes shoulder surgery later this week.
The club's medical team had held out hope of putting the operation off until the summer. However, the procedure on the 32-year-old's left shoulder will see him miss the Reds' upcoming trip to Fulham on Sunday before they host Queens Park Rangers at Anfield on the final day of the campaign.
A short statement on the club's official website explained that the Liverpool captain's problem has "progressively worsened in recent weeks", but adds that he is expected to recover in time for pre-season training.
The news means that last Sunday's 0-0 draw in the Merseyside derby against Everton at Anfield will be the final official match in which Gerrard played alongside long-time team-mate Jamie Carragher, who retires at the end of the season.
Gerrard is also set to miss England's post-season friendly matches against Republic of Ireland at Wembley and Brazil in Rio de Janeiro at the newly refurbished Maracana stadium.