Stoke manager Tony Pulis has admitted that Ricardo Fuller could be sidelined for the rest of the season.
Fuller had to be replaced just half an hour into the Potters' 2-0 defeat to Sunderland on Saturday after suffering a dislocated shoulder.
The Jamaican striker has been sent for further tests and Pulis is not sure when he might be back in action.
Pulis expects Fuller to be ruled out for at least a couple of months but hopes he will return to help Stoke in their battle against relegation.
"That could be him out for the rest of the season and that is a massive worry for us," Pulis told The Sentinal.
"He's had an operation to put the shoulder back into place, but we'll have to have a further look to see exactly how bad things are.
"But at the moment it looks like we'll be without him for two or three months."
Pulis was left fuming by referee Rob Styles' decision to send off Matthew Etherington for a foul on Danny Collins and he is now considering whether to lodge an appeal.
"I thought at most it was a booking," said Pulis. "Matty is trying to get into a goalscoring position and Collins has blocked him off.
"It's a trip, not violent conduct. But you've got a referee who can't wait to get his card out.
"He gives the free-kick to us and from that we should score. Henri Camara will never get a better chance to score."