Wilson Palacios has had surgery and is set for "a few weeks" out after making a very late withdrawal from Stoke City's starting lineup against Liverpool on Saturday.
The Honduran had been named in Mark Hughes's maiden competitive Potters team and took part in the pre-match warmup, but, after complaining of "shooting pains in his stomach," the 29-year-old midfielder was replaced by Marc Wilson and sent to hospital.
While the exact problem has yet to be revealed, assistant manager Mark Bowen speculated that the midfielder may have had his appendix removed.
"In the warmup he felt shooting pains low in his stomach," Bowen told This is Staffordshire. "We thought he might be able to go into the game and see how he got on, but he came into the dressing room after the final warmup doubled up with the pain.
"They will keep him in for tests, but we don't know what it is. It could be gastro enteritis or maybe his appendix. We just don't know."
Stoke later confirmed that surgery had been required via a written statement on the club website.
"Stoke City can confirm that Wilson Palacios was taken to hospital in Liverpool after an incident occurred in the pre-match warmup, which required immediate medical attention," the statement read. "Wilson has successfully undergone a minor surgical procedure from which he is now recovering from and is likely to be sidelined for a few weeks."