Kieron Dyer is unlikely to play for QPR again this season after manager Neil Warnock revealed the injury-plagued midfielder requires another operation on his foot.
Dyer has not played a competitive game for QPR since the opening day of the season when he was carried off on a stretcher after injuring the foot on his debut against Bolton. The 32-year-old was expected to return after Christmas but injured his foot again during a reserve game with Tottenham this week, however, and looks likely to be out for several weeks.
Warnock is likely to leave Dyer out of his 25-man squad when he re-submits it to the Premier League after the next transfer window shuts, meaning the midfielder may never play for Rangers again. Warnock told QPR's official website: "This is a devastating blow for Kieron."
He added: "I have never met a more determined pro in my career, and he really doesn't deserve this.
"The specialist said he thought Kieron could return before Christmas without the need for an operation and is disappointed that this is not the case, and he has no alternative now but to operate. I have absolutely no doubt that he will recover after the operation.
"We are going to support him as best we can because he has got such a contribution to make, both on and off the field. And even though he has not featured for us, he has made a vital contribution at the training ground and has been very important to have around the place."
While Dyer is unlikely to play again this season, Warnock insists that the Rs will stick by him during his rehabilitation.
"We are aware that Kieron's contract can be terminated in January," he said.
"But, having spoke to [chairman] Tony Fernandes and the rest of the shareholders, we want to support Kieron in this time, even though it may mean he is not in our 25 for the rest of the season. I feel he has a lot to offer the club. We will be involving him in many aspects of the club while he rehabilitates."
Dyer became QPR's second summer signing, penning a one-year deal on the same day as fellow new boy Jay Bothroyd in July. The 32-year-old midfielder has been beset by injuries in recent years and was released by relegated West Ham at the end of last season.