Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell is to undergo knee surgery today which will rule him out for the bulk of next season.
The Black Cats have confirmed that the 23-year-old, who has missed all but four games of the current season with cruciate ligament damage, needs a second operation.
Manager Steve Bruce revealed his fears over Campbell last week, and they have now been realised, and with loan signing Danny Welbeck struggling with a hamstring problem, he faces heading into Saturday's crucial Barclays Premier League clash with Wigan with only one fit senior striker.
Campbell initially suffered his injury during the 1-0 victory over Manchester City on August 29, and was in line to return against the same opposition on April 3 when he twisted his knee again in training.
The club's medics had hoped he had suffered only a minor setback, but examinations revealed the full extent of the damage and that surgery was the only option.
Campbell will have his operation just 48 hours after keeper Craig Gordon headed into theatre for a procedure to address his own knee problem.