Japan captain Makoto Hasebe has had surgery on his right knee for the second time in a month, his Bundesliga club Nuremberg said on Friday.
"Hasebe recently complained about problems and underwent an operation on Friday," said Nuremberg in a statement, adding that the surgery took place in Japan.
"In the next few weeks, he will not be available for the club. It has not been established exactly how long he will be absent for."
The midfielder suffered a tear in his lateral meniscus in January and returned home to Japan for the operation. He resumed training last week and complained of more pain on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old, who is vital to Japan's hopes of making it past the group stage at the World Cup, sustained the injury in a friendly against Steaua Bucharest during the winter break.
Japan face Colombia, Greece and Ivory Coast in Group C at the World Cup.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)