Bolton have confirmed that the knee injury suffered by Stuart Holden against Manchester United on Saturday will keep him out for up to six months.
The United States international damaged his knee in a crunching challenge with Jonny Evans during a 1-0 defeat for the Trotters at Old Trafford.
The United defender was a shown a straight red card at the time, as Holden's team-mates gesticulated for immediate medical assistance to be given to their stricken colleague.
Having been stretchered from the field, the midfielder was rushed straight to hospital for treatment and further tests.
Owen Coyle revealed after the United clash that he was uncertain as to the full extent of the problem, with the Scot hoping the injury proved to be nothing worse than a bad cut.
Unfortunately, he now finds himself without Holden for the remainder of the season, while the 25-year-old will also play no part in the USA's Gold Cup campaign this summer.
Coyle told the club's official website: "First and foremost our main concern is for Stuart and his recovery. He will get all the time and support that he needs.
"Stuart has been outstanding for me this season and he has shown in his performances that he is one of the best midfielders in the Barclays Premier League.
"He has such desire, strength of character and a winning mentality, and he will draw on those attributes in his rehabilitation."
The latest setback is the second serious injury sustained by Holden during his 14 months at the Reebok Stadium.
He suffered a broken leg while away on international duty in March 2010 and only returned to full fitness shortly before competing in last summer's World Cup.
Holden, while devastated to be facing another lengthy period on the sidelines, has vowed to bounce back stronger in 2011/12.
He has confirmed that he is to go under the knife on Monday, before setting out on the comeback trail.
Holden wrote on his Twitter account: "Down 2 London 4 Surgery later today and then road 2 recovery begins.
"I can promise you all I will come back stronger and better than before. Have had bad luck in the past and will continue to beat it."