Villarreal have been dealt yet another serious injury blow with Turkish striker Nihat Kahveci possibly out for the rest of the season with a knee problem.
The Turkish striker, who turned 27 on Thursday, will endure a miserable birthday having ruptured ligaments in his left knee during a training ground collision with team-mate Javi Venta.
It is the latest in a series of serious knee injuries for both player and club, with Nihat having missed the second half of the 2004-05 campaign with a similar complaint.
Villarreal have been cursed by knee ligament injuries so far this season with Gonzalo Rodriguez and Robert Pires already both sidelined for the foreseeable future.
Nihat, who had been poised to return to action following a different knee problem, will now join them in the treatment room and faces around six months out of action.
"Right now I've been told that Nihat will be out for six months with a knee injury," Villarreal official Jose Manuel Llaneza.
"It seems that this year we have been hit by this type of injury and we'll have to see if we now sign a new forward to replace him or if we try to carry on without one."
Meanwhile, Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini has expressed his desire to have recent signing Matias Fernandez join the club ahead of his scheduled arrival in January.
The Primera outfit splashed out é¼7 million (£4.5 million) to land the Chilean starlet and were expecting him to link up with his new team-mates when the transfer window reopened in January.
However, Pellegrini wants the 20-year-old to join the club as soon as possible to ease his adaptation to life in Spain.
"The kid will not be able to play until January, but it would be positive for us if he arrived in December to get to know his team-mates and the team's system," Pellegrini stated.
"But I do not expect him to have problems adapting to Spanish football."