Everton have confirmed Tim Cahill will miss the start of the Premier League season, but insist the problem is not as bad as a similar foot injury he suffered last season.
When he broke a metatarsal last March, he missed three months and barely figured in Australia's recent Asia Cup challenge.
And the 27-year-old has had X-rays and specialist reports after suffering a recurrence of that injury on Tuesday in the friendly against Werder Bremen at Goodison Park.
Everton now hope that Cahill will return far quicker, the match against the Germans being his first game for the club since that original injury.
Everton's head physio Mick Rathbone said: 'It is premature to suggest three months out, that is wide of the mark.
'He has damage to the same area of the foot as last time, but it is minuscule in comparison to the previous injury.'
The club will not put an official time scale on Cahill's projected recovery from the latest injury, but it is certainly several weeks.
The Australian star battled for fitness through the summer to be involved in his country's squad for the Asia Cup. But although he was cleared to play, he had only an occasional part in the tournament as a substitute.
He returned to Merseyside last week to commence further treatment and training, but lasted just 61 minutes against the Germans before falling awkwardly and limping off.
His loss will be a blow to manager David Moyes, who may well now have to revise his transfer spending.
Everton have bought utility man Phil Jagielka from Sheffield United, and he could well be pressed into midfield service if Moyes cannot acquire suitable cover while Cahill recovers.