Roy Hodgson appears to be increasingly pessimistic about Andy Johnson's prospects of playing again this season after confirming the Fulham striker will undergo a knee operation on Thursday.
Johnson has endured a nightmare campaign on the injury front and has been restricted to just eight Premier League appearances due to collarbone, groin and now knee problems.
He has travelled to America to visit renowned surgeon Dr Richard Steadman and has been booked in for an operation on Thursday.
Hodgson had previously been hoping that the lively forward would only be sidelined for a further four weeks in the best-case scenario.
However, the Fulham boss appears to be resigned to being without the England international for the remainder of the campaign.
"He will have knee surgery in America, when they will go in and see what it is and then fix it," said Hodgson.
"There is a risk that he will be out for the rest of the season, but there is also some optimism.
"However, the experience of our medical people think it might be (season-ending).
"I am disappointed in that, because I was still believing he was going to come back and it would not be that long.
"Now I may be looking at the rest of the season with a limited and inexperienced group of front players."