Manchester City boss Mark Hughes has revealed that he expects to be without striker Darius Vassell for around ten weeks.
Vassell, 28, was expected to feature in Thursday's UEFA Cup qualifier against Danish side FC Midtylland.
City are currently without the injured Benjani Mwaruwari and new £20million signing Jo, who is away at the Olympic Games with the Brazil national side.
However, former England striker Vassell picked up a knee injury during last weekend's pre-season friendly encounter with AC Milan and now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
"It is likely Darius will not be available for something like ten weeks," revealed Hughes.
"He will be in a brace for six weeks and then will need another month to build up his fitness.
"Missing the start of the season is disappointing for him and myself as he has been exceptional in pre-season."