Hartlepool's teenage defender Jordan Richards has been ruled out for the rest of the season due to a knee injury.
The 19-year-old right-back, who made his first-team breakthrough this season, will undergo surgery to repair damaged cartilage on Friday morning.
"The surgeon's advice was that we should try to avoid the operation until after the season was over and Jordan was keen to do that too obviously," Pools physio Ian Gallagher told the club's official website.
"Unfortunately the symptoms have become so bad that we have no other option but to have the surgery done now and get the meniscus in his knee repaired.
"The recovery period for this type of operation is around three months so hopefully that means we can work with Jordan and make sure he's fit and ready to go for pre-season."
Richards, who first sustained the injury in training last month, has been at the club since he was 10 and has made 11 appearances for John Hughes' side this season.