Everton striker Arouna Kone could be sidelined for the rest of the season after being told he needs knee surgery.
Manager Roberto Martinez confirmed on Wednesday that the 29-year-old, a £6 million close-season signing from Wigan Athletic, will go under the knife after suffering the setback as a second-half substitute in last month's victory over Hull City.
The Ivorian requires a procedure to remove some loose cartilage from his knee and, though the extent of his absence is not yet known, Martinez expects to be without him for a significant spell.
"We had to send him for a surgery and we need to see how long exactly he'll be out but it'll be a while," the Spaniard told the Liverpool Echo.
"I would say the worst fears were confirmed and he had some loose cartilage in his knee. We'll know in the next 48 hours.
"He needs it repaired and the loose cartilage taken out. It takes a long time to recover.
"We'll need to see how he gets through surgery but it's a really difficult injury in terms of time.
"He'll be fine long term but it's disappointing because I felt he showed against Hull he was ready to be himself and enjoy his football.
"We'll make sure he gets back fit and strong as ever."
Kone joins midfielder Darron Gibson on Everton's long-term injured list, with the Irishman having undergone an operation on his cruciate knee ligaments last week.
Martinez, who drew comparisons between the two injuries, remains hopeful that both players could return this season.
"It's similar to Darron, although Darron had already surprised everyone with how he's recovering because he's been around and put weight on his knee," he said. "He's very positive.
"If we could get them both back before the season ends it would be the best two signings."
|Pique wants to face Guardiola, City in Champions League final|
|Tevez nearing Boca Juniors return|
|Ronaldo? I was better, says Gremio coach Renato|
|Pique: I understood why Neymar left Barca for PSG|
|Klopp: We´re all fighting for second place|
|Every player has a price – Mourinho hints at January exits|
|Good question! Guardiola ducks Sanchez link and lauds Walker|
|Guardiola addresses Mourinho´s tactical foul claims|
|Call the doctor! Conte protests no malice in David Luiz absence|
|Sheffield Wednesday 0 Wolves 1: Brilliant Neves fires leaders seven clear|
|Premier League title City´s to lose, but Sterling wary of United charge|
|Barcelona´s Deulofeu a Clasico doubt after training injury|
|Salah ´is a player I rate a lot´, says Zidane|
|Allardyce lauds ´invaluable´ Rooney|
|Ramos fit for Club World Cup final|
|Lille sack Bielsa to end failed experiment|
|Manchester United job like Real Madrid, says Mourinho|
|Fernandinho is much better than I was, Guardiola claims|
|That Harry Kane team? – I´m over Guardiola dig, says Pochettino|
|Mourinho open to January moves as Griezmann rumours swirl|
|Berizzo set for Sevilla return after cancer surgery|
|Manchester City will not go unbeaten in Premier League - Guardiola|
|Man City are the best – Pochettino braced for Spurs´ toughest test|
|Conte hopeful over David Luiz´s ´serious´ knee injury|
|Neymar not an injury risk after Brazil trip - Emery|
|Bailly to miss three months due to ankle surgery|
|Klopp defends Liverpool rotation policy|
|Arsenal fan Prince Harry´s wedding day to clash with FA Cup final|
|He´s one of the best – Simeone showers Oblak with praise|
|Juventus won´t sell in-demand Pjaca, agent claims|
|Bolasie in line for Everton return after long-term injury|
|Maradona told Real Madrid to sign Mbappe|
|Sydney FC 3 Melbourne City 1: Champions come from behind to go eight points clear|
|Red-hot Salah wins Player of the Month|
|Heynckes unaware of reported Sanches loan termination|
|Maradona: I´d have won more Ballons d´Or than Ronaldo and Messi|
|Wenger confirms Wilshere contract talks imminent|
|We´ve never been approached by Man United – Wenger rejects Ozil reports|
|Lewandowski demands focus ahead of Christmas|
|Klopp right to rotate at Liverpool – Neville|
|Donnarumma plays down Milan exit rumours|
|Barkley could leave in January – Allardyce|
|Pulisic voted youngest-ever male USA player of the year|
|Griezmann will be allowed to leave – Simeone|
|Guardiola appears to aim another dig at Mourinho|
|Vardy relishing Fleetwood return|
|Almiron blocked from becoming Las Palmas coach|
|Ligue 1 adopts VAR from next season|
|Calabria extends AC Milan contract|
|Everton give new deals to Calvert-Lewin, Holgate & Kenny|
|Under-fire Hughes promises results will come for Stoke|
|Mourinho asked to explain pre-Manchester derby comments|
|Stoger sets Dortmund end of year target|
|Dyche: No swaggering from high-flying Burnley|
|Watzke plays down Nagelsmann rumour as Dortmund plan for 2018|
|Guardiola´s record runs with Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Barcelona compared|
|Benteke goal drought a concern for Hodgson|
|City look frightening – Rose|
|Kahn regrets rejecting Manchester United|
|Bayern wrapping up Ribery for Christmas|
|Wilshere no closer to signing fresh Arsenal contract|
|Resurgent Rooney has Europe´s best shot-conversion record|
|Pastore bullish over PSG chances against Madrid|
|Independiente boss overjoyed by ´dream´ Copa Sudamericana success|
|Silva is an animal - Guardiola|
|Wenger not blaming Sanchez for Arsenal´s goal woes|
|Mourinho can´t find room for misfiring Mkhitaryan|
|Guardiola tells fans Man City won´t stop after record-breaking win|
|Mirabelli: Donnarumma has to beg Milan if he wants to leave|
|Bayern lacked verve, says Heynckes|
|Di Maria wants more game time at PSG after goalscoring display|
|Gattuso: Donnarumma shaken by abuse from AC Milan fans|
|Pellegrino calls for Southampton reaction|
|Benitez ´needs to know´ extent of Newcastle´s transfer budget|
|Zidane will not request striker signing despite Benzema blanks|
|Bournemouth excellent in Old Trafford loss – Howe|
|Wilshere´s performance ´very positive´, says Wenger|
|Pochettino challenges Spurs to keep top-four berth|
|I´d be in Brazil if the title race was over – Mourinho|