The nine-year-old became the first back-to-back winner of the Aintree spectacular since Red Rum when he beat Magic Light by two and three-quarter lengths in April under an inspired Davy Russell.
Trainer Gordon Elliott has previously stated he is working towards a hat-trick attempt, but Eddie O’Leary, racing manager for Gigginstown House Stud, was reluctant to be drawn on long-term plans before the current issue is resolved.
“It’s more than a little bit of a setback, you can’t be a little bit pregnant, it’s a setback, unfortunately,” said O’Leary.
“He’s a very sound horse, he exercised on Tuesday perfect and on Wednesday the problem was diagnosed.
“He’s being operated on and hopefully they can suck it out.
“He should be back for Navan and the Boyne Hurdle in February after being in his box three or four weeks.
“We just need to get him sound before making plans.”
Officials at Cheltenham have given the go-ahead to racing this weekend, which will feature the BetVictor Gold Cup today and Greatwood Hurdle tomorrow.
The course has recovered after being hit by 40mm of rain which led to the abandonment of yesterday’s card.
North Yorkshire-based jockey Tommy Dowson recorded a double at Newcastle courtesy of Desaray Girl and Charlie Snow.