Greer hasn't played since a Nov. 8 game against the Carolina Panthers when he left with what initially was diagnosed as a left groin pull.
Payton said it wasn't immediately clear that Greer's injury was serious enough to require more than rest. Then the team decided this week that it would make more sense for Greer to have the surgery now and be fully healthy for the playoffs rather than have him try to play through the injury. The Saints are 12-0 and already have clinched the NFC South title.
Payton says the hope is to have Greer back for the regular-season finale Jan. 3 in Carolina.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press