Middlesbrough ace Matthew Bates has suffered cruciate ligament damage for the fourth time in his career.
The 22-year-old Teessider has battled back from three separate surgeries on his knees during his short career.
He looked to be over his injury nightmare, having made the breakthrough into Gareth Southgate's first team last season.
Indeed Boro had to beat off competition from a string of Premier League sides to keep him at the club this summer, as he agreed a four-year deal only last month.
But now the club have confirmed that Bates has torn the anterior ligament during the pre-season clash at Carlisle on Saturday.
The club are now awaiting further tests, but surgery looks inevitable along with a sizeable rehabilitation period which would almost certainly rule him out for most of the season.