London - Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah is set to have surgery on a knee injury he suffered in training last week.
Chalobah had impressed for the Premier League club since his close-season move from Chelsea.
However, Watford performance director Gavin Benjafield confirmed the 22-year-old, who was called into the England squad for their previous World Cup qualifiers, is now set for an extended spell on the sidelines.
"Whilst we can't put an exact timeline on his recovery, we are expecting to see him re-integrating into the squad well before the New Year," Benjafield told Watford's website.
Chalobah's absence will be a blow to Hornets boss Marco Silva, whose side had made a strong start to the season thanks in part to their midfielder's impressive form.