Ipswich Town striker Freddie Sears has been ruled out for nine months after he ruptured his cruciate ligament in Sunday's defeat to Norwich City in the East Anglian Derby.
Sears, who has been among Town's best performers this season, damaged his right knee just before half-time at Carrow Road.
Scans have now revealed a tear to his ligament and he will now face an extended spell on the sidelines.
The news will come as another big blow for Ipswich who are now nine points adrift of safety in the Championship.
“He will see a specialist later this week who will determine the timeframe but it’s likely that surgery will take place in the next two weeks," Town physio Matt Byard said.
“We will know more from the specialist but with this type of injury, you are looking at nine to 12 months recovery.”