Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has admitted that John Pantsil will be out of action for at least ten weeks.
The defender had to withdraw from Ghana's African Cup of Nations squad last week after twisting his knee during the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.
Hodgson is not holding out hope of a quick return for the right-back, who met with the club's medical staff at the weekend to assess the full extent of his injury.
Pantsil is set to be sidelined for some time and Hodgson concedes that a worst case scenario would mean he does not get back before the end of the season.
"We know from the scan that John has damaged his posterior cruciate ligament so he has a serious injury," said Hodgson.
"There's no hope for me that the medical staff are going to phone me and say it's not as bad as we thought it would be, it's only going to be a couple of weeks.
"What they are talking about is the difference between 10 and maybe 18 weeks so we will have to do without Pantsil for a long time."