Manchester City have been dealt a major blow with striker Benjani Mwaruwari suffering a serious thigh injury during training.
The 29-year-old Zimbabwe international scored three times in 13 appearances for the Citizens following his arrival from Portsmouth in January, but now faces an extended spell out of action.
City boss Mark Hughes told the club's official website: "Unfortunately he picked it up a couple of days ago, he pulled a thigh muscle quite badly and the medical staff think he won't be available until well into the new season.
"They have to wait for the muscle to heal and then for the strength to come back and that will need a lot of work.
"It's a big disappointment for me, but also for the lad himself because he was hoping to hit the ground running.
"Benjani ended last season quite well and it is a shame, but these things happen.
"You will always pick up injuries in pre-season, you hope that they will be slight ones that players can get over, but unfortunately this is a little bit more than that.
"It's a blow, and it was not something we were anticipating."
Hughes will also be without Brazilian striker Jo for the start of the new season, with the former CSKA Moscow frontman on Olympic duty with his national team.