Middlesbrough have been rocked by the news that Mark Viduka faces at least six weeks on the sidelines after the striker suffered a broken toe in the weekend victory over Newcastle.
Viduka, who was substituted at half-time in the morale-boosting 1-0 victory, has scored twice in nine appearances this term.
But after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink left the club in the summer, Boro boss Gareth Southgate is short of cover in attack with Massimo Maccarone, Yakubu Ayegbeni and Malcolm Christie the only recognised strikers on the books at the Riverside.
"It's disappointing for Mark and disappointing for the team because he was starting to get his sharpness back," admitted Southgate.
"But injuries are part and parcel of the game so we have to live with it."