West Ham captain Mark Noble is to have surgery on a long-standing abdominal injury and will miss the last two matches of their Premier League season.
The midfielder has been playing through the pain barrier in recent weeks to help the Hammers ensure top-flight safety.
But with the campaign drawing to a close the decision has been taken for Noble to go under the knife.
“Mark has been playing in pain, but he is the captain and he wanted to do everything he could to ensure the club retained its Premier League status,” West Ham’s head of medical and sports science Stijn Vandenbroucke told the club’s official website.
“Mark is as brave as they come and he ignored the pain as best he could, but the Premier League takes its toll.”
West Ham are 12th in the table and finish their season with matches against Liverpool and Burnley.