The Wellington Phoenix will be without star striker Paul Ifill for at least the next month.
Ifill entered hospital today for an operation to clean out his right ankle and physiotherapist Wayne Roberts said it would be four to six weeks before he is back in action.
Head coach Ricki Herbert said it was disappointing to lose such an influential player over what is a busy period, but it was in the best interest of the striker to have the operation immediately.
“The injury has obviously been affecting Paul-s form and rather than wait till the end of the season I felt it best to get it done now,” Herbert said.
“It is in his best interest, and ours, to have him back to his best for the rest of the season.”