Empoli fear leading scorer Nicola Pozzi will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Pozzi damaged his cruciate ligament during Serie A strugglers Empoli's impressive 3-1 win away to Napoli on Sunday.
The Italy Under 21 international scored twice in the game, but picked up the injury in the act of netting his second goal.
He was stretchered off the pitch andd Empoli coach Alberto Malesani admits Pozzi's injury is a 'bitter blow' as the club battle to stay in the top flight.
"Pozzi has sustained a serious injury," Malesani told reporters. "It is a bitter blow on this otherwise happy day.
"The first impressions of the medical staff are that the cruciate ligament has been broken, but we hope that is not the case.
"We are so happy for the win and the performance, but very sad about this terrible injury."