All White Rory Fallon's availability for New Zealand's October soccer internationals against Honduras and Paraguay is doubtful after the striker had a hernia operation at the weekend.
Fallon, who plays for Plymouth Argyle in the English third-tier competition, has been carrying a groin injury since the World Cup.
Plymouth manager Peter Reid was unsure exactly how long the recovery would take but told the Plymouth-based Herald newspaper he expected Fallon, who has missed Plymouth's last two matches because of the injury, to be out for "about a month".
New Zealand play Honduras in Auckland on October 9 and Paraguay in Wellington on October 12.
Even if Fallon was fit in time to make the trip to New Zealand, it is unlikely Plymouth would want him to travel so soon after the injury.
There had been much speculation about the 28-year-old's short-term future in England but it appears the injury ended any prospect of the him leaving Plymouth before the transfer deadline closed last week.
Fallon played in all three of the All Whites' matches at the World Cup in June and scored the winning goal as New Zealand beat Bahrain 1-0 in Wellington last November to qualify for South Africa.