While a date for surgery is not yet set, Liverpool's Joe Allen will miss three months when the surgeons do operate on his injured shoulder.
Sky Sports passed along this quote from Allen on his shoulder:
It requires another operation which is a bitter blow. These things happen in football, unfortunately, and it will keep me out for around three months when I do get the operation done.
I'm not sure, to be honest (when the operation will be). That's something that is being decided and I will have to see what comes of it.
While this injury certainly would explain some of Allen's disappointing play since arriving to Liverpool with a big salary and bigger expectations, Allen is not going to use it as an excuse.
As Sky Sports mentions, Allen says that the injury has "deteriorated recently" and that he's "not looking to use it as an excuse."
The news of the surgery is not overly shocking. Three months is a reasonable, if not light, recovery timetable for a surgery.
Also, last week, after Allen was not in the starting lineup, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told reporters that Allen had been suffering from shoulder issues and that it had been bothering him since October.
Rodgers said at that time that the surgery would be in the "next week or so" (via TeamTalk.com).
Allen played this past weekend, after Rodgers' comments, and he appeared no worse for wear. It certainly appeared like something he would be able to battle through for the rest of the season if need be.
However, there is little reason to have the 22-year-old continue to overcome the pain in order to get on the pitch.
While Liverpool could make a run into the top five of the EPL, they have little else to play for. So, having Allen receive this surgery sooner rather than later would be the smart move.
This way, in case there is a setback in his recovery, he would have more time to get up to speed as he tries to regain his form next year.