Newcastle Jets marquee man Wes Hoolahan is set to be sidelined until the new year after undergoing surgery on his right ankle.
The Republic of Ireland international was injured in the Jets' FFA Cup quarterfinal loss to Adelaide last week.
The A-League club confirmed on Monday scans had revealed the 37-year-old had suffered major ligament and cartilage damage to which required surgery.
The ex-Premier League midfielder underwent the surgery in Sydney on Monday and the Jets say he's set for a significant stint out.
"Estimated return to play timeframes will be established by the club's medical staff in consultation with the surgeon," the club said in a statement.
The news is a huge setback for Ernie Merrick with the Jets investing heavily to lure the veteran ex-Norwich City player to Australia on a free transfer in August.
Newcastle have the bye in the opening round of the A-League and open their season in an F3 derby against Central Coast on Saturday, Oct. 19.