Worcestershire CCC batsman Alex Gidman has undergone surgery and had a plastic joint fitted into his left index finger.
Gidman suffered a fractured finger during fielding practice ahead of the penultimate game of last season against Durham at the ICG Emirates.
It was expected to heal naturally without any operation required after two specialists had examined the x-rays.
But a later x-ray revealed a slight deformity and damage to the cartilage in the joint which left Gidman unable to flex the joint.
This reduction in range of movement would have prevented the 34-year-old from performing and so an intervention was needed.
Gidman saw renowned hand and wrist specialist Mike Hayton in Manchester and it was decided that the plastic joint represented the best option in his bid to return to full fitness.
Worcestershire CCC first team physiotherapist Ben Davies said: "Alex injured his left index finger up at Durham. It was just as he was warming up for the game the day before. He dug his finger into the turf diving forward trying to take a catch.
"He had an x-ray straight away in Durham which showed a fracture. We sent the images off to a couple of specialists and they all agreed conservative management was the way forward for this injury.
"We took the advice of the specialists and had xrays fortnightly to check the fracture was healing adequately. The final x-ray unfortunately showed it healed with a slight deformity and there was some damage to the cartilage in the joint.
"Then we went to see a specialist in Manchester, a renowned guy called Mike Hayton, and he said it is the worst type of fracture you can have, the hardest one to treat because it is such a small joint.
"The cartilage was very badly damaged. The bone and the fracture has healed but the cartilage hadn't healed and we couldn't do anything about it. He hadn't got enough movement to grip a bat.
"Hence we went to see the specialist and we've had a long talk about the best options and we've gone for a joint replacement in the finger.
"Alex had the operation in Manchester last week, it went as well as it could have gone, and he has now got a plastic joint in his finger."
Davies added: "We are looking at a 10-12 week return to fitness. He will rest for a couple of weeks and then it will be a case of building up strength and getting his range of movement back to help him bat again.
"He will probably have to field with some protective taping on it next season.
"It was innocuous. We see dislocations and breaks of fingers all the time. You follow the specialists advice and let it heal but it is just unlucky the way it has healed and the cartilage damage in the joint means we had to go for an operation.
"Alex is fine about it, he is quite philosophical, and wants to do everything he can to get him back to performing and batting the way he knows he can."