Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given may be out of action for up to three months as a result of a shoulder injury.
The 34-year-old, who has only played in four matches for City this season, will see a specialist on Wednesday.
City boss Roberto Mancini said: “He has the same injury he had last year and I think that he needs an operation.
“It’s a disappointment for us and him. We’ve lost a good goalkeeper.
“Last year we had the problem in the last three games because we lost him to injury and I hope this year it is not the same.”
With City sealing an FA Cup fifth-round place against Aston Villa after overcoming League One side Notts County on Sunday, Given will be anxious to be available for a potential trip t
Given also damaged his shoulder last April, which prompted City to sign Marton Fulop on an emergency loan deal from Sunderland for their final three games of the 2009-10 season with Hart on loan at Birmingham.
Republic boss Giovanni Trapattoni said: “Shay’s presence in the squad has always been extremely important and he will certainly be missed. That said, we have good options in Keiren Westwood and Joe Murphy.”