Middlesbrough have confirmed that midfield ace Nicky Bailey could be sidelined for up to six weeks.
The 27-year-old has shone in Boro's midfield this term and has flourished in a new holding role that Tony Mowbray has used him in.
Bailey, who has been nominated for the Championship Player of the Month for December, injured his medial ligament in the game with Peterborough on New Year's eve.
Now scans have confirmed that he will be missing until late February and Mowbray said: "He's got a medial knee ligament injury and will be out for four to six weeks.
"He's adapted very well to the position we've asked him to play and he enjoys the role so it will be disappointing for him to miss football matches."