Aston Villa's Emile Heskey is set for a month on the sidelines after being told he will need surgery to repair medial knee ligament damage, the Premier League club confirmed today.
Former English international Heskey suffered the setback in training yesterday.
It leaves Villa manager Gerard Houllier short on striking options at the club, with Gabriel Agbonlahor still recovering from groin surgery.
Norwegian John Carew, who has struggled to make an impact so far this season, is the club's only fit senior frontman ahead of Saturday's clash at Fulham.
It means England U-19 player Nathan Delfouneso will be in contention to face the Cottagers.
Heskey, who quit international football after the FIFA World Cup™ this summer, has been revitalised since the arrival of Houllier as Martin O'Neill's successor.
The former Liverpool player has finally started to win over the Villa fans after adding goals to his performances.
A club statement read: "Emile Heskey will miss the clash with Fulham after picking up a knee injury.
"Heskey tore the medial meniscus in his right knee yesterday in training with no other player involved in the incident.
"The injury will require an operation and he faces between three to four weeks out of action."