Crystal Palace winger Sean Scannell is likely to miss the first half of the season after undergoing a knee operation.
The 19-year-old suffered the injury in the recent pre-season friendly against Exeter and a specialist has told him he needs to go under the knife.
New Eagles boss George Burley concedes he is now expecting to be without the promising wide man until the New Year.
"He is going to have an operation on his knee next week and could be out for five or six months," said Burley.
"It didn't seem like anything at the time. He came on against Exeter and caught his knee in the grass and a bit of bone has come away."