Liverpool defender Joe Gomez will require surgery to assist his recovery from the lower leg fracture he suffered at Burnley in December.
Gomez has been undergoing a normal rehabilitation procedure at Melwood since his injury at Turf Moor, but after further diagnosis, medical staff have decided that surgery would be advisable to ensure Gomez makes a full recovery.
A return date has not been set, though Liverpool are confident that Gomez will return before the end of the season.
"It’s a blow for the boy and for us - because prior to the injury he was in such fantastic shape," Jurgen Klopp told Liverpool's official website. "But he is too valuable to take any risk with, both for our present and future, so we get this procedure done and he comes back when he’s ready.
"His attitude during this rehab has been outstanding but it just hasn’t healed as we’d have liked so we will make this intervention and then he will come back."
This is a massive blow for Liverpool's title hopes. Gomez and Virgil van Dijk had formed a superb partnership at centre back, conceding just four goals in the eleven Premier League matches they completed together.
"Obviously being out for longer than we’d first hoped for is hard to swallow but it’s part and parcel of the industry," said Gomez.
"The hardest part is not being able to help the team and contribute on the pitch at the moment, so it’s important I come back ready to go and this procedure will help with that.
"My only focus is getting back for Liverpool as soon as possible and I can promise the supporters I’ll be working hard every day to do that."