Stoke boss Tony Pulis admits Mamady Sidibe could miss the rest of the season after snapping his Achilles.
The burly frontman was stretchered from the field on Saturday during the Potters' 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.
Having entered the fold as a late second-half substitute, he lasted just three minutes before being forced off.
It was apparent from the moment that he collapsed to the turf that he had suffered a serious problem and he is now set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The news comes as a crushing blow to Sidibe, as he missed a large chunk of the 2009/10 campaign with damaged knee ligaments.
It is feared that he could be missing for up to nine months this time around, with a gruelling rehabilitation programme ahead of him.
Pulis admits the outlook appears bleak, but is waiting on the results of medical tests before completely ruling Sidibe out of his future plans.
"It's a cruel blow for Mama because it appears he has snapped his Achilles," he told the club's official website.
"The medical staff have told me that it doesn't look good for him, although we will have to wait for confirmation from the scan that he will have on the injury.
"If that is the damage though, he will be lucky to play again this season, and that's a big setback for us."