Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is unsure whether Wes Brown will play again this season after the defender suffered another injury setback.
The injury-plagued centre-back has been out of action since hurting his knee in an FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough last January.
And it now seems the 33-year-old's 12-month lay-off will stretch even longer after the former Manchester United player broke down after returning to training last month.
Brown is now undergoing a series of sugar injections in the hope of curing the long-standing problem, although no specific time frame on his return has been announced.
"Wes is feeling really frustrated with it all," said O'Neill. "He just has ten or so days where he thinks he is going well and then gets a setback.
"He has these injections, a course of sugar injections, which are making him feel better at the minute. He feels they are benefiting him and I think the lad (Stoke City captain Ryan) Shawcross had them some time back.
"We have lost his services and it has got to the stage where we can't even consider him. It is bad for us, so it must be terrible for him."