Republic of Ireland international John Egan will miss next month's World Cup qualifiers against Serbia and Luxembourg.
The Sheffield United defender came off injured during his sides 3-0 defeat to West Ham in the Premier League on Monday.
Egan was expected to be ruled out of the upcoming international games and Blades boss Chris Wilder confirmed ahead of Saturday's game against Fulham that the 28-year-old will miss the next 8 weeks because of a dislocated toe.
"He needs an operation on a dislocated toe," Wilders said.
"It's a situation where John's gone to block a shot and we knew he was in trouble straightaway.
"It’s a big blow to lose him for eight weeks.
"I do feel we’ve been cursed with injuries. I feel for the medical staff, they’ve been outstanding for two or three years.
"We've had big injuries that have hurt us, there was talk about overplaying and muscle injuries but we’ve had few of them.
"We’ve had John Fleck falling and breaking his back, Jack O’Connell colliding with Dean Henderson, Oli McBurnie falling and hurting his shoulder and now John Egan hurting himself making a tackle.
"We’ve lost eight or nine of these big players for us, which makes it really difficult to get that continuity and momentum."
Chris Wilder has confirmed this morning that John Egan will be out for 8 weeks with a dislocated toe.
Get well soon, Egs. ☘️ pic.twitter.com/ZKFpW5VJLx
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) February 19, 2021
It's a massive blow for the Boys in Green as they look for a change in fortune under Stephen Kenny, who is still waiting for his first win as Ireland manager.
Egan would have been a guaranteed starter if available so now Kenny has a decision to make ahead of those games with Serbia and Luxembourg and the friendly with World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar.
Shane Duffy's loss of form at Celtic will be a cause for concern for the Ireland boss but Ciaran Clark has got back into the first team at Newcastle, while Burnley's Kevin Long and West Brom's Dara O'Shea are other options.