Roma captain Francesco Totti will undergo surgery on his right knee and could now miss the start of the next Serie A season.
Totti, who missed both of his team's recent UEFA Champions League games against Manchester United due to injury, will now see out the remainder of the campaign on the sidelines.
Roma are currently just three points behind leaders Internazionale in the race for the Scudetto and the news of Totti's absence will come as a major blow.
However, the 31-year-old, who suffered the blow in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Livorno, is not letting his head drop and he feels he will come back a stronger player.
"I'm a little down, but I've been through worse," Totti told Italy's Sky TV. "I'll return stronger than before."
Roma team physician Mario Brozzi confirmed the injury in a statement while adding Totti is likely to be out of action for up to four months.
"After examining the player, professor Pierpaolo Mariani (Totti's surgeon) confirmed the primary diagnosis: that he has partially ruptured his cruciate knee ligament," confirmed Brozzi.
"Roma have already had to deal with this kind of injury and we believe that four months is enough recovery time."