Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke has been ruled out for six months due to a ruptured Achilles tendon and will miss Belgium's World Cup campaign.
Confirmation of Benteke's setback came from his club on Thursday evening, after he underwent a scan having suffered the injury in an earlier training session.
In a statement on Villa's website, manager Paul Lambert said: "It's a terrible blow both for Christian and for the club.
"He will miss the rest of the season, obviously, and also the World Cup. But he'll work hard because that's what he does and he'll come back for us stronger than ever next season."
Villa said in their statement: "Christian Benteke will undergo surgery after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon injury today in training.
"He will be out for a minimum of six months."
The powerful forward, who joined from Genk in August 2012, was Villa's leading scorer and driving force in his first season at the club.
Although he has at times struggled to reproduce that form during his second term at Villa Park, the 23-year-old has remained the focal point of Lambert's attack, scoring 11 goals in the current campaign.
He was set for his first World Cup with Belgium, despite experiencing a recent goal drought at international level.
Benteke has frequently been linked with a move away from Villa Park, but the anticipated length of his absence looks likely to rule out any summer departure as it means he is not expected back until October at the earliest.