Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones will miss at least two months of the new season through injury.
The powerful 23-year-old was a genuine plus-point for Sunderland last season but a collision with goalkeeper David James during the friendly clash between Trinidad & Tobago and England on 1st June saw him damage knee ligaments.
Jones will consult a surgeon again to decide whether surgery is required but whatever is decided, it seems likely the player will require a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Black Cats boss Roy Keane said: "Clearly there is knee ligament damage, but we are hopeful.
"We've got two or three weeks to play with yet but it would certainly rule him out for the first month or two whatever happens."
With the issue of footballers and their contracts refusing to be quelled, Keane has added his voice to one of the game's hottest debates at present.
The case of Cristiano Ronaldo's much protracted possible switch to Real Madrid has made the headlines, with Sepp Blatter's 'slave' comments having added to the mountain of column inches dedicated to the subject.
When quizzed on the issue, Keane was typically direct and offered his view that it is very much a case of 'dog eat dog' in football's ruthless world.
"I think it's always been the case if players fancy leaving and make it hard for a manager and their attitude isn't up to scratch, then you sell them," he added on Sky Sports News.
"Having said that, in defence of players, when a club is finished with you they get rid.
"My advice is look after yourself. If you get a chance for bigger and better things, then go for it.
"I've experienced that myself. People question players' loyalty, I question clubs' loyalty.
"It's a business to them. If you're not needed then you can be out of the door in 10 minutes, and I'm speaking from experience.
"It works both ways."