Manchester City forward Valeri Bojinov is set to be out for six months after the Bulgarian snapped his Achilles tendon ahead of Sunday's 4-2 defeat at Aston Villa. Bojinov, 22, who suffered a knee ligament injury last season, was injured in the warm-up.
"It is a huge blow for Valeri," City manager Mark Hughes told BBC Sport. "He has had a terrible spell with injury. We are all disappointed for him but he will have to come back again." Ched Evans stepped in, but could not prevent City going down at Villa Park.
Hughes is already shorn of the services of injured pair Benjani Mwaruwari and Darius Vassell, and newcomer Jo is representing Brazil at the Men's Olympic Football Tournament, absences which could yet prompt a renewed City bid for Blackburn Rovers' Paraguayan striker Roque Santa Cruz.
Bojinov joined City from Fiorentina a year ago for $10 million, but has made only four brief appearances owing to his previous injury misfortune.