Hull City have confirmed £5million record signing Jimmy Bullard will miss the rest of the season through injury.
The January arrival from Fulham underwent surgery on a knee injury he picked up against West Ham.
Initial scans showed Bullard had a tear in his cartilage and now further examinations have found new damage to his anterior cruciate ligament.
Bullard suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury while playing for Fulham against Newcastle in September 2006 which ruled him out for 18 months.
It is not clear how long the Tigers' big-money signing will be out for, but the club have admitted he will not feature for the remainder of the season.
The news is a massive blow for Phil Brown's men as they look to end their slump in form and secure their Premier League survival.
A statement on Hull City's official website read: "Jimmy Bullard underwent a procedure last night [Wednesday] in America to repair a torn cartilage.
"Whilst performing the arthroscopy, the surgeon noticed fresh damage to his anterior cruciate ligament.
"In the best interests of both the player and Hull City Football Club it was decided to undertake a reconstruction of the damaged ligament which means that Jimmy will be unavailable for the remainder of this season.
"The club wishes Jimmy a speedy recovery and look forward to his return in a Tigers shirt as soon as possible."