Villarreal's Italian international striker Giuseppe Rossi will miss Euro 2012 after suffering a setback in his recovery from a knee injury on Friday that is likely to keep him out for a further six months.
"Giuseppe Rossi suffered a relapse of his right knee injury during training this morning (Friday), which will unfortunately make him unavailable for six months," Villarreal announced.
"The Italian-American has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and will need to undergo an operation. Villarreal will reveal the date and location of his operation in the coming days."
Capped 27 times by Italy, American-born Rossi had been out since injuring the same knee during his side's 3-0 loss to Real Madrid on October 26 last year but was preparing to make his comeback.
It is further bad news for Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, who is faced with something of an injury crisis in attack prior to Euro 2012.
"I can't believe it," he told the Italian press. "I heard from him a few days ago and we agreed that I'd come to see him in Spain for his first match."
Italy's team doctor, Enrico Castellacci, said Rossi was "very disappointed".
"I feel bad for the player, but even more for the man," he added.
Prandelli could find himself without a number of important attacking players when Italy begin their Euro 2012 campaign against reigning champions Spain in Gdansk, Poland on June 10.
Mario Balotelli has been sent off twice for Manchester City this season and risks being excluded for contravening Prandelli's code of ethics, which forbids players from reacting violently on the pitch.
Milan striker Antonio Cassano, meanwhile, has only just returned to action following a heart operation in November.
Cassano and Rossi had formed Italy's first-choice attacking partnership during qualifying for Euro 2012 prior to Rossi's initial injury.