The Wigan Athletic forward requires a hip operation but Owen Coyle, his club manager, has warned the injury may be so serious that the former Celtic player might not return until April at the earliest.
Maloney scored a spectacular free-kick winner in Scotland's 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Macedonia but picked up a back injury in the same game. That knock has kept him out of action since - including last week's 2-0 triumph for Gordon Strachan's side over Croatia.
"Shaun will be going in for a hip operation," said Coyle. "He had it when we [Coyle and his coaching staff] came to the club over the summer, an existing hip injury. To be fair to Shaun he tried to play through that, which we thought might be manageable for the season. But then, when he was away with Scotland, he picked up a back injury that had actually led from the existing hip injury."
However, Coyle was unable to put a definite date on his comeback. "We won't know that until the surgeon opens him up and sees the extent of the damage. As it is, I think it's certainly fair to say it will be a minimum of three months, but there is a chance it could be longer."
Scotland will also be without long-term absentees Darren Fletcher and Gary Caldwell when they host the USA at Hampden on Friday, November 15, before travelling to Norway to take on Per-Mathias Høgmo's side.
The match, on November 19, finally has a venue after the Norwegian Football Federation reached a decision yesterday following days of conjecture. The Aker Stadium, the 11,800-seater home of the Tippeligaen champions Molde, will host the fixture, much to the delight of the club's chief executive Tarje Nordstrand Jacobsen.
"We believe it will be a great occasion for the fans and players," said Jacobsen. "We are going to have a real football party for the whole region."
Molde are managed by the former Manchester United striker, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.