England and Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland could be out of action for a further two months as he will undergo an operation on his troublesome ankle next week.
The injury flared up again this summer and he has not played this season.
Stoke signed Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant on deadline day because of concerns over Butland’s fitness.
“I’ll be having a minor operation on Monday,” Butland said in a social media statement.
“Rather than push through and risk damaging further, I’d like to have it sorted for good and be back to the levels I was at last year.”
Having trained without trouble during pre-season, Butland suffered a training ground injury on the eve of Stoke City’s opening Premier League match against Middlesbrough.
Forty-year-old Shay Given has played in every game so far and is expected to continue for the Potters in Butland’s extended absence