Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas will miss the rest of the season after cracking his right fibula in Wednesday's Champions League clash with Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium.
The midfielder landed awkwardly as he tangled with Carles Puyol, with the defender receiving his marching orders following the incident.
Fabregas stepped up to smash home the spot-kick, securing a hard-fought 2-2 draw in the quarter-final first leg contest and it was evident he was suffering considerably as he trotted back towards the halfway line.
Following tests on the problematic limb, his fears were confirmed and he will be out of action for at least six weeks, bringing his World Cup inclusion into question.
He was fully expected to make Vicente del Bosque's Spain squad for the showpiece event in South Africa in the summer and much will now depend on his rehabilitation.