Manchester City striker Benjani will miss the start of the new season after picking up a thigh injury.
The Zimbabwe international pulled a muscle in training, leaving City desperately short of attacking options with the 2008/09 campaign drawing ever closer.
The club's record signing, Jo, has joined up with the Brazil squad ahead of the Beijing Olympics, while Bernado Corradi and Rolando Bianchi are expected to depart Eastlands this summer.
This means that Darius Vassell, who has been utilised more as a winger in recent times, and Valeri Bojinov, who missed most of last season through injury, are Mark Hughes' only senior strikers.
"Unfortunately he picked it up a couple of days ago, he pulled a thigh muscle quite badly and the medical staff reckon he won't be available until into the new season," Hughes told the club's official website.
"They have to wait for the muscle to heal and then for the strength to come back, and that will need a lot of work. It's a big disappointment for me, but also for the lad himself because he was hoping to hit the ground running.
"Benjani ended last season quite well, and it is a shame but these things happen. You will always pick up injuries in pre-season, you hope that they will be slight ones that players can get over, but unfortunately this is a little bit more than that.
"We were quite strong, bodies-wise, we had quite a number of forward-thinking players but it could be that as we progress over the next couple of weeks we will be shorter than we thought we were going to be. We will have to have a look at it, we talk about how the balance of the squad needs to be right so we will make sure we will have enough strength there. It's a blow, and it was not something we were anticipating."
Having accepted that he may be forced to bolster his strike force over the coming weeks, Hughes has been linked with moves for West Ham's Craig Bellamy, Blackburn's Roque Santa Cruz and Marseille's Djibril Cisse.
Meanwhile, the City boss has also confirmed that Richard Dunne will retain the captain's armband for next season.
The centre-half had appeared to be heading to Portsmouth just a few weeks ago, having grown frustrated by the manner in which Sven Goran Eriksson's exit from the club was handled.
However, he was persuaded to stay by Hughes and subsequently put pen-to-paper on a new contract.
"It was important for me to understand Richard's position when I arrived here and get it resolved and now everyone is happy," Hughes told the Manchester Evening News.
"He fulfils the captain's role very well and will continue to do so.
"I have been delighted with the response Richard has made since he signed. He has been part of this squad for a long time and it was important we made sure he would continue to be a big part of things."