Real Madrid defender Pepe is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on his right ankle on Wednesday.
With the 29-year-old already serving a suspension for Real Sociedad's visit to the Bernabeu on Sunday, the decision was taken to operate on the niggling injury before Pepe returned from his winter break in Portugal.
A statement on the club's website read: "Pepe, after feeling discomfort in his right ankle and having a medical examination, had a consultation with Dr Van Dijk in Porto this morning.
"An ankle arthroscopy has been performed on the player."
The Portugal international has been a near ever-present at the back for Real this season as Jose Mourinho's men strive to close a 16-point gap on Primera Division leaders Barcelona.
However, the defender now faces a struggle to return to action for the capital club's Champions League last-16 meeting with Manchester United on February 13.