Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov said today he will be out of action for around three months after suffering a partial medial knee ligament tear in last month's Premier League loss to Sunderland.
Villa manager Gerard Houllier had said last week he expected Petrov to be out at least until Christmas.
Petrov told the club's website: "I'm bitterly disappointed not to be involved.
"I feel okay, but the knee injury I picked up against Sunderland means I will be out for around three months.
"It was one of those things and you have just got to accept that sometimes these things happen in football.
"It is the first time I have been out for such a lengthy period since I suffered a broken leg when playing for Celtic ten years ago.
Nigel Reo-Coker takes over as skipper.