Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov will be out of action for up to two months afetr suffering a knee injury.
The Bulgarian midfielder sustained the problem in the first half of Saturday’s defeat at Sunderland and had to come off five minutes before half-time.
Manager Gerard Houllier has confirmed the injury is serious enough to keep the 31-year-old out for up to eight weeks, with a scan planned later this week to determine the extent of the damage.
“We have lost Stiliyan Petrov for maybe two months,” Houllier told Sky Sports News.
“We will know whether he needs an operation by the middle of the week.
“It’s a shame because he was getting back to a good level.”