Sunderland midfielder Kieran Richardson will miss the final three games of the season with a stress fracture of his shin.
Richardson suffered the injury in training and will miss this weekend's trip to Bolton as well as the games against Wolves and West Ham.
The former Manchester United man has not featured since the defeat at home to West Brom at the start of April and Blacl Cats boss Steve Bruce revealed he will now work to be fit for the start of pre-season training.
"Unfortunately, we have got to report that Kieran has a stress fracture in his left fibula," said Bruce.
"We X-rayed him after the game against West Brom and then subsequently scanned him two or three days later. The scans and the X-rays revealed nothing at all apart from a badly bruised bone.
"Unfortunately, what the medical people are telling me is that they [stress fractures] can appear within 10 days to three weeks.
"Consequently, we re-scanned him on Thursday when we detected that unfortunately, the boy has got a stress fracture and will miss the rest of the season.
"But we hope he is going to be joining in pre-season."
Richardson's injury adds to the problems of Bruce as he struggles to put a team together for the game at Bolton.
Only 10 Black Cats players were able to train on Thursday with a number of stars on the casualty list.
Titus Bramble, Fraizer Campbell, Craig Gordon, Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck are all definitely missing, while Michael Turner, Lee Cattermole and Jordan Henderson are major doubts.