FC Twente have been dealt a severe blow with the news defender Nicky Kuiper is expected to miss the rest of the season with a persistent knee injury.
The 21-year-old has sustained cruciate ligament damage in his left knee for the second time in less than a year and is set for another long absence.
The left-back aggravated the problem during training in La Manga, Spain, where the Dutch club are preparing for the second half of the Eredivisie season.
After flying back to Enschede, Kuiper underwent an MRI scan on Monday which revealed torn cruciate ligaments and confirmed the youngster will require an operation to repair the problem.
"Nicky Kuiper will be unavailable for a long time," a club statement read, with the stopper likely to will miss the remainder of the campaign.
Kuiper had only recently resumed training after suffering a similar problem in October, while he was also sidelined from April until late September following meniscus surgery on his right knee.