Barcelona have confirmed that defender Thomas Vermaelen will need to undergo thigh surgery and will be out of action for between four and five months.
The Belgium international joined Barca from Arsenal for a £15 million fee in the summer but is yet to make his debut for the Catalan club.
Vermaelen injured himself playing for his country at the 2014 World Cup and has endured a frustrating start to life in Spain.
Finnish surgeon Sakari Orava will perform the surgery next Tuesday, having previously operated on Jonathan Woodgate when the English defender moved to Real Madrid.
It is being reported that April will be a potential return date for Vermaelen, who had a history of injury troubles whilst at Arsenal.