Aston Villa striker Luke Moore could be out for up to six months after undergoing an operation in the USA to correct a long-standing shoulder problem.
The 20-year-old had made an impressive start to the campaign under new Villa boss Martin O'Neill, but now faces missing much of the rest of the season as he recovers from surgery.
O'Neill commented: "The operation went very well, but the surgeon said the shoulder was in a bit of a mess, so Luke has done very well to play the number of games he has.
"They have tightened the ligaments but the surgeon said it was pretty nasty. His shoulder was popping out of place, popping out of the socket. It has been an ongoing problem for some time.
"I wasn't aware of the problem Luke had until I arrived at the football club and he hurt it again pre-season.
"He has stopped himself from having the operation to play as long as he could. He has shown a bit of courage to play in the games, because it has been causing him more problems than he was telling us.
"With a bit of luck now, the problem should now be resolved. But it could be anything between three and six months before he is back."