SWANSEA City have suffered a fresh injury blow after it emerged Michu is doubtful for their Christmas fixtures and will need an operation.
Michu returned to action last week after more than a month out with knee and ankle problems.
Now Swansea's Spanish international forward is struggling with pain in the other ankle, and Michael Laudrup admits surgery is inevitable.
Swansea are still assessing the extent of the latest injury, which dates back to much earlier in Michu's career.
But the worst-case scenario is that he will face three months out when he eventually goes under the knife.
"Michu is still struggling," Laudrup said.
"He will need an operation at some stage. The best case is that he will need it at the end of his career, but it could be the end of the season and it could be now.
"He wants to play, but he has not been 100 per cent this season. He has not been at his best physically and therefore he has not been able to help the team as much as he would have liked.
"He has been worried about, and I know that feeling because I have been there. When you are not 100 per cent, your performances are not what you want and that's frustrating."
If Michu feels a sudden improvement in his ankle, he could come into contention for Sunday's clash with Everton at the Liberty.
But at this stage it seems unlikely he will play any part against Roberto Martinez's side.
Swansea are also without Michel Vorm, Garry Monk, Nathan Dyer and the suspended Angel Rangel.