AC Milan midfielder Mathieu Flamini is expected to be out of action for at least five months due to a knee injury.
The 27-year-old hurt his right knee during last weekend's 2-1 win over Juventus in the Berlusconi Trophy, and further tests have confirmed ligament damage.
The former Arsenal man will now have to undergo knee surgery and is expected to be sidelined until next year.
Flamini, who made 22 league appearances to help Milan win the Serie A title last season, will miss the first half of the season, including the group stages of the Champions League.
The Frenchman's absence has been softened by the arrival of Alberto Aquilani from Liverpool and Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri is confident the midfielder can make a big impression at the San Siro.
"I believe that with Aquilani's arrival our transfer market is complete," Allegri said.
"He can cover all roles in midfield and he is a player that has great quality with attacking characteristics.
"I believe he will adapt well in our midfield line."