Edoardo Molinari needs an operation on an injured left wrist but is set to delay it until Europe's Ryder Cup defence.
Molinari, speaking after finishing with a share of 11th place in the Andalucian Open on Sunday, revealed that he has had the injury for four years.
The Italian, who successfully teamed up with his brother Francesco at the rain-affected 2010 Ryder Cup - held at Celtic Manor, said he originally had tendinitis in the wrist.
But the 31-year-old from Turin learned from doctors after returning home from the European Tour's recent Middle East swing that he has cartilage that needs to be removed.
"The first time I felt pain in my wrist was four years ago when I had tendinitis, but after seeing doctors I've been informed some of the cartilage on top of my wrist has become firm and it needs to be removed," he said.
"I had six weeks off over the winter, but when I went out to the Middle East I knew something was wrong with my wrist as it became very painful."
Molinari revealed that he had two cortisone shots and played with his wrist taped last week in Spain.
But he hopes to keep playing and have the operation later this year - possibly after Europe's defence of the Ryder Cup in Chicago this September.
"Luckily I'm not doing any more damage by playing, but if it does get too painful I will have the operation earlier," he added.
Molinari claimed half a point in his singles match against Rickie Fowler at the 2010 Ryder Cup, combining for another half alongside his brother in the Foursomes.