Cardiff City striker Federico Macheda has been forced to undergo back surgery which will rule him out of action for several months, HITC Sport understands.
Macheda has been struggling with the back injury in recent weeks, and has yet to feature for Championship side Cardiff this season as a result.
After undergoing tests on the ailment, the club decided to send him for surgery to try and resolve the problem.
Italian forward Macheda underwent successful surgery on his back this week and his recovery could take as long as three months, but the player is hoping to return to action before then.
The news is a major blow for Cardiff boss Russell Slade as he will have make do without the former Manchester United youngster until December, and it may force him into the loan market to bring in some cover in the striking department.
Macheda joined Cardiff last summer after leaving Manchester United, and the 24-year-old scored eight goals in 25 appearances for the Bluebirds.