Gillingham striker Adam Birchall could be sidelined for several months after a scan revealed major damage to his knee.
Birchall had made an impressive impact in the short time he has spent at Priestfield since signing from Dover earlier this month.
Yet Gills boss Andy Hessenthaler admitted: "We've had the results back from Adam's scan and unfortunately it's not good news.
"He's damaged his cruciate knee ligament and it looks like he is going to need an operation.
"There's no point trying to put a time limit on his recovery, at this stage, because you just can't tell with an injury like that, but it does look like it is going to keep him out for a few months."