Brighton manager Gus Poyet says the club will do everything they can to support crocked defender Tommy Elphick after his latest setback.
Elphick, 24, looks set to miss the rest of the season after it was revealed the Achilles injury he suffered at the end of last term requires a second operation.
"It's very sad news for the club and especially for Tommy," Poyet told the Seagulls' official website.
"We thought he would be back in September, he had a small problem and now we have the bad news that he's going to need another operation.
"It's hard to take but that's the risk you have as a football player. We'll provide Tommy with all the support he needs to come back a stronger player.
"We cannot put a timescale on it because it's a long-term injury."