Blackburn Rovers' hopes of avoiding relegation have been hit by the news that defender Ryan Nelsen will be unavailable for the remaining six games of the season.
Nelsen underwent knee surgery on Monday and the club have confirmed that the influential New Zealand international will not play again in the 2010-11 campaign.
Blackburn are currently just three points clear of relegation.
"Ryan had an operation on his knee and he is out for the rest of the season unfortunately," manager Steve Kean told the club's official website. "If the surgeon had gone in and looked at his knee in January he'd have probably done the same operation.
"So with good medical back-up we've managed to get him on the pitch more times than we thought we would have got. The prognosis is that he'll be back some time in August, he just has to rest up for a month and do the rehab from there.
"Fortunately for us we lose Ryan at a time when Phil Jones is back fully fit. He's slotted back in there and looked like he'd never been away from central defence so that is fantastic for us, but it is unfortunate that we lose Nelly."