Aston Villa striker John Carew could be out of action until the beginning of November after sustaining knee ligament damage.
Carew is facing four to six weeks on the sidelines after the scan on the Norway international confirmed his worst fears.
The former Lyon player suffered the setback during the second half of Sunday's Barclays Premier League game with Everton.
Carew had also been troubled during the early part of the current campaign by a niggling groin problem. But he had shown signs against the Toffees of being back to his best after scoring the opening goal in Villa's 2-0 success.
Carew's spell on the sidelines will begin by him missing tomorrow's home Carling Cup third round tie with Leicester.
It means manager Martin O'Neill could give an extended run to Marlon Harewood, who was signed from West Ham for #3 million in the summer. O'Neill's other viable alternative is to play Gabriel Agbonlahor in a central striking role on a regular basis.
The England Under-21 player has also featured prominently on the right flank this season. O'Neill told the club's website, www.avfc.co.uk: "We're looking at maybe four to six weeks and it's a blow because he's a key player for us.
"But this is going to happen during the course of a season and you have to cope with it. It's now all about players coming in, doing well and staking their claim.
"Even when Carew wasn't scoring goals I still think he was a handful for the opposition."
"But we have had to do without him before and at crucial times last season. We will probably end up playing differently again, but we are capable of doing that."