Palermo's in-form Brazilian striker Amauri is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after damaging cruciate ligaments in his right knee, the Sicilian Serie A club said Wednesday.

The 26-year-old, who has scored eight league goals this season, suffered the injury after colliding with Siena goalkeeper Alex Manninger in last Saturday's 1-1 draw.

Amauri, who joined Palermo from Verona club Chievo for the start of the campaign and has been one of the outstanding strikers in Italy's top division this season, is expected to be ruled out for several months.

The loss of Amauri is a massive blow to Palermo who are currently lying in third place in Serie A on 35 points, 13 behind leaders Inter Milan but nine clear of fourth-placed Catania.

The top two go directly into the UEFA Champions League while the teams finishing third and fourth will need to overcome a two-legged third qualifying round to join the group stage.