Nottingham Forest striker Taiwo Awoniyi has been ruled out for the next few months after undergoing groin surgery.
Awoniyi had to pull out of the Nigeria squad during last week's international break after coming off early in their 1-1 draw with Lesotho.
The 26-year-old returned back to the UK for further examination after aggravating an issue that he suffered in October, which saw him miss games against Crystal Palace and Luton Town.
Forest boss Steve Cooper confirmed on Thursday morning that Awoniyi required groin surgery, which he has had this week.
Speaking to the media ahead of their clash with Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, Cooper revealed: "It's bad news on Taiwo, he's had to have surgery and he is going to be out for months.
"We'll support him and try to get him back as quick and as fit as he can be, but it's a really unfortunate situation and a blow for him." Cooper added.
A similar injury ruled Awoniyi out for 15 matches last season, but Cooper was keen to stress that he returned from that setback in fine form, and can do so again.
Cooper said: "We've got to support him through the process of coming back stronger. He's done that once before here and I'm sure he will give everything again like he did last time. You think about how well he did when he returned last season, I'm sure that's given him a good reference point to come back to."
Awoniyi's goals were vital in Forest's survival push, as he netted six in their final four games of last season to help keep them in the Premier League.
While Cooper did not put a timeframe on his return, he did say his season is not yet over, stating: "We'll definitely see him again this season, but it's groin surgery so it will take a little while."
The Times claims that it is likely he will miss around four months of action, almost double the length of time that he missed earlier on this year.
It means that Chris Wood will likely need to step up to fill the void left by the Nigerian's injury up front.
The New Zealand international has three goals to his name this season - the late winner against Sheffield United and a brace against Luton Town.