Derby County forward Steve Davies has been ruled out until 2011 after damaging cruciate knee ligaments in training.
Davies has endured a luckless time with injuries since joining Derby two years ago and has been restricted to just 45 appearances for the club.
He missed the end of last season after undergoing ankle surgery, and has previously had foot and eye injuries during his time at Pride Park.
The 22-year-old has now had an operation on his knee and Derby boss Nigel Clough expressed his sympathy for the former Tranmere Rovers youngster.
"First and foremost, we are devastated for Steven," Clough told the club's official website. "He has shown a terrific attitude and willingness to get himself right for the new season.
"He was looking in terrific shape and we were delighted with how he was coming on.
"It is a real blow and a kick in the teeth for him, and my heart goes out to him. He is heartbroken.
"I have no doubt that if he applies himself to his rehabilitation like he has done over the last few months to get fit then he can bounce back from this and still play a big part in our season."