Younes Kaboul has undergone surgery on his injured knee and will be out for four months, the Tottenham defender has announced via Twitter.
Kaboul missed last weekend's 1-1 draw with against West Brom with the problem and he now claims he will be sidelined for around four months.
"Morning all,surgery done with success..Now looking forward for my rehab.I thank you all for your great support as usual!#comingbackstronger," the France centre-back said on Twitter.
He then added shortly after: "Sorry I forgot to mention how long (I will be out for)...(It) Should be 4 months."
The news is a big blow for new Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas, who had earmarked the Frenchman as one of his first-choice centre-backs.
Kaboul rejoined Spurs from Portsmouth in 2010 and, despite a difficult start, the powerful defender had an excellent campaign last term.
The news could mean a return to the fold for club captain Michael Dawson.
Dawson had been told he could leave for QPR last week, but he was reluctant to move to the west London club and could now come back in to Villas-Boas' plans for Saturday's game against Norwich and beyond.
Villas-Boas also has Jan Vertonghen, William Gallas and Steven Caulker available at centre-half.