Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury in yesterday's 1-0 win at Everton.
The 30-year-old went down in agony after trying to turn as he made a tackle during the first half at Goodison Park and was clearly in a lot of discomfort as he was carried off on a stretcher.
Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed Silvestre would be sent for a scan as soon as his team arrived back in Manchester and the results have only confirmed the United manager's worst fears.
A club official confirmed the extent of the damage and a recovery timetable which means Silvestre will not be seen again for the remainder of the campaign.
It is desperately bad news for the former Inter Milan star, whose first team appearances have been limited due to the impressive form of Patrice Evra.
It is bad news for United as well, as it robs Ferguson of experienced defensive cover at left-back after Gabriel Heinze's acrimonious move to Real Madrid.
It is also the latest in a series of knee injuries to hit the Old Trafford camp.
Park Ji-Sung and England keeper Ben Foster are both at different stages of recovery from cruciate ligament surgery, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer announced his retirement this month after failing to recover from a long-term knee complaint.
With John O'Shea also out after sustaining injury on Republic of Ireland duty last week, youngsters Gerard Pique and Johnny Evans are likely to be among Ferguson's squad when United open their Champions League campaign against Sporting Lisbon in Portugal on Wednesday.