Top Kiwi racing driver Greg Murphy will face further surgery for ongoing back issues in Melbourne next week.
Murphy, who is driving in both Australia's V8 Supercars championship and in the New Zealand V8 Supertourers has had back problems since a crash during qualifying for the Clipsal 500 in March.
It is the second round of surgery Murphy has faced since the high-impact accident and will likely rule him out of both championships for the next three months.
"Despite the discectomy procedure I had after Clipsal, the disc has continued to rupture and I've been in a fair amount of pain and discomfort this week," said Murphy.
"I need to get the vertebrae fused to sort this once and for all and while it means I'll be out of the car for the next three months, I expect to be 100% and back racing for the Pepsi Max Crew here in Australia and Mike Pero Racing in New Zealand by the end of September."
The operation could force Murphy out of four V8 Supercar Championship rounds including next weekend's Skycity Triple Crown in Darwin as well as the opening endurance round of the V8 Supertourers Championship here in September.
"It's obviously not ideal - being out of the car is never good in motorsport, but Kelly Racing and all my sponsors on both sides of the Tasman have been incredibly understanding and supportive," said Murphy.
"My medical team has assured me that I will have no lasting effects from this operation which is expected to fast track a full recovery.
"I need to focus on my operation but I know contingency plans are already well under way for the rounds ahead and would expect announcements on who will fill in for me while I am out of action very soon."
Kelly Racing will be making further announcements regarding Murphy's replacement in the Pepsi Max Crew car while Murphy will announce his team for the Mike Pero Holden for the opening endurance round of the V8 Supertourers in the near future.