Manchester City defender Micah Richards expects to miss four months after having surgery on the knee injury he suffered on Saturday.
The 24-year-old had an operation late on Monday night after sustaining the problem in City's 1-0 Barclays Premier League win over Swansea. It had been hoped that Richards could be back in action within six to eight weeks, but Richards told the club website it could take much longer.
"The positive thing is that the injury has been repaired so the knee will be as good as new," he said.
"I have a brace on it and I am using crutches. I can't do anything at all for the next four to six weeks and I am probably looking at 12-16 weeks before I am back in action."
It is yet another blow for Richards in what has been a frustrating season so far. He missed the start of the campaign with an ankle injury suffered while playing for Team GB at the Olympics, and has played in just four of City's 13 games.
He was injured in the 85th minute of Saturday's game, twisting awkwardly and crumpling in obvious pain before being taken off on a stretcher.
"I knew straight away in the game that it was quite a bad injury," Richards said. "The knee locked and I couldn't straighten it.
"I suppose it could have been even worse and not repairable which would have meant removing the meniscus; so I am being positive. Injuries are all part and parcel of the job but this coming on top of the other one I do feel a little hard done to!
"I will be working as hard as I can to get back as quickly as I can and I thank all the fans who have sent their best wishes."