Manchester United striker Michael Owen will miss the rest of the season through injury, ending his slim chances of making the England squad for this summer's World Cup finals, DPA reported.
The 30-year-old pulled his hamstring in the final of the Carling Cup last Sunday, in which United beat Aston Villa.
"It is a terrible blow for the lad," United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said. "It is more serious than we thought.
"He gets operated on on Monday morning. It's disappointing for us too. He's never missed a training session all season. I think the heavy pitch at Wembley played some part, but it's also bad luck."
Owen has started most games for United from the substitutes' bench and has been unable to command a starting spot.
England manager Fabio Capello had already said that Owen had to be playing regular football to be considered for the finals.