Sunderland forward, Emanuele Giaccherini is unlikely to play again this season following an ankle surgery.
Giaccherini, 29, picked up his recent injury in the FA Cup replay win at Fulham earlier this month and, after going under the knife on Thursday, has been ruled out for a minimum of 12 weeks.
Injuries have restricted the Italy international to just four starts in the current campaign.
Manager Gustavo Poyet told the club’s official website: “Emmanuel is going to be out for a while. It is incredible that he had a big injury after the Burnley game and it took him a while to come back, and then when you think everything is good he had another knock in the same area on the same bone and now it is going to take a little bit longer.
Poyet stressed he will not rush Giaccherini’s rehabilitation, insisting he will prefer to wait until next season to ensure full recovery.
“He is practically going to be out right until the end of the season which is unfortunate for us, but we wish him well and I want to say a full recovery- not a quick one- so that we can count on him next year,” he said.
Speaking in his pre-match conference on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s trip to Manchester United, the Uruguayan added: “It’s tough but I think it’s the risk of forward players. We need to be sure he is 100 per cent and we wish him well and hope he will make a full recovery.”
Poyet also revealed that he has a number of injury concerns ahead of the game at Old Trafford, with Billy Jones, Jack Rodwell and Will Buckley all facing late fitness test.