Monk: Time was right for Ki surgery
Swansea manager Garry Monk has revealed the club could take no further risks over Ki Sung-yueng's long-standing knee complaint.
The influential midfielder has had a limited role in recent weeks after an impressive campaign and Swansea revealed before Sunday's 4-2 Barclays Premier League home defeat to Manchester City that he had undergone minor knee surgery.
"All players carry niggles and you have to decide whether you can manage it or it needs to be dealt with immediately," Monk said.
"Ki has been fantastic and you want someone who has done that well to be part of it to the end of the season, but you do not want to take any risks."
The South Korea captain fell out of favour under previous Swansea manager Michael Laudrup and was loaned to Sunderland last season, playing a pivotal role in the Black Cats reaching the Capital One Cup final and winning their battle for Premier League survival.
But Monk told Ki he was a big part of his plans after succeeding Laudrup and the 26-year-old signed a new four-year contract last August which ties him to Swansea until 2018.
Ki has since enjoyed the most productive spell of his career - making 33 league appearances and scoring a campaign-best eight goals - and underwent surgery now to allow him to return in time for Swansea's pre-season preparation.
"He came back from Sunderland last summer with a sore knee and we were advised he could have the operation then, but he had the World Cup coming up," Monk said.
"Understandably he did not want to miss that so he went, and since then his knee has been fine.
"But it had flared up a bit in recent weeks. We have had to manage it and give him a rest but he has still contributed really well."
Swansea conclude their season at Crystal Palace on Sunday having just missed out on Europa League qualification.
The Welsh club have managed their highest Premier League finish of eighth and best points tally, and winger Nathan Dyer said Swansea should keep pushing for European football after tasting it as 2013 League Cup winners.
"We want to strive for progress and to get to the top," Dyer said.
"Obviously, we've been in Europe before and maybe at that time we weren't quite ready.
"We had a great go and that's something we'll look forward to next season, trying to get there."