STANLEY defender Robbie Williams had a knee operation on Wednesday after twisting it early on during the 1-0 FA Cup loss to Tranmere last Thursday night.
The 29-year-old also went under the knife in March on the same knee and manager John Coleman admitted: "He was doing well at right back so it is a blow for him and for us. Unfortunately these things happen in football."
It is not known how long Williams will be out of action for.
Meanwhile Kallum Higgin-botham has returned to Rochdale following his one month loan spell with the Reds.
The frontman made just one start during his time at the FES - playing in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Bournemouth.
"Rochdale have a few injuries and they wanted him to be involved in their FA Cup game this week," said Coleman.
"It means we are another body down."