ROBERT HUTH will miss the remainder of the campaign after undergoing a second knee operation this week, boss Mark Hughes confirmed on Friday.
The Germany international hasn't featured for the Potters since suffering the injury during the 2-0 victory over Sunderland at the Britannia Stadium back in November.
The 29-year-old had initially looked primed to return to the first-team fold in the near future, having come through a 45-minute run out in a friendly encounter against Burnley last month.
Disappointingly though, he suffered another setback following his return, and as a consequence of that the defender will be out of action until the start of next season.
"Unfortunately Robert had an operation last night and he will now miss the remainder of the season," Hughes told stokecityfc.com.
"The knee was reacting adversely to the work we were trying to do with him recently, so the operation was something that he needed to have.
"He has been close to returning on a number of occasions, but we weren't willing to risk him.
"In some regards it is good news because we have been able to get to the bottom of what the problem was, and hopefully he will be fit and raring to go for the start of next season."