Preston right-back Marnick Vermijl has gone under the knife after he accepted defeat in his bid to play through the discomfort of a hernia.
The Belgian had surgery yesterday and could be back within a month depending on how well his rehab goes.
PNE had tried to manage him through the injury as they did with Paul Gallagher last season.
But it got to the stage where it was causing him too much pain to fully train.
North End boss Simon Grayson said: “Marnick had the operation yesterday.
“We felt he wasn’t getting any better and wasn’t able to get through training.
“I’d expect him to be out of the equation for two or three weeks, maybe a month.
“There are different types of pain thresholds for certain people, some injuries are worse than others and that had to be considered.
“We did give Marnick the opportunity to manage it, keep training and try to get him through game situations.
“But it got to the stage where it was really sore and it wasn’t of benefit to anyone to delay surgery.
“It was the right thing to get it done sooner rather than later.
“Some players can be back in 10 days, some can be four weeks.
“We won’t rush him back, we will get him fully fit so that he is right to play his part this season.”
Grayson moved to sign Tyias Browning on loan from Everton last month knowing that Vermijl was carrying the injury.
Before too long, he should have Alex Baptiste back from a knee injury for further cover in the defence.
“When we brought Tyias in it was always up our sleeve what was happening with Marnick,” said Grayson.
“With Bailey Wright also leaving, we knew Tyias could play at centre-half too.
“Baps is not too far away. I know I keep saying that but he is making good progress.
“He was at Middlesbrough this week for some testing with them and hopefully we will see him back in training quite soon.”
Grayson reported that a handful of players had not trained since the goalless draw at Wigan last Saturday.
But he will be able to add Gallagher to the squad for this weekend’s Deepdale clash with QPR.
Said Grayson: “We picked a few knocks up in the Wigan game and some of the lads haven’t trained yet this week.
“One or two of them might be a concern for Saturday.
“Gally is fine, he trained last Friday but I decided I wanted to keep the same XI and squad as he’d only had the one session.
“He’s had a clear week to train and certainly comes into contention for QPR.”