Tottenham are likely to be without defensive midfielder Sandro when the new season starts after the Brazilian tore the cartilage in his left knee whilst on international duty.
Sandro, who has been away with Brazil during their Copa America campaign in Argentina, has been sent home to be assessed by club doctors in North London.
The 22-year-old complained of pain in both his calves and his knee after a routine training session in Campana, and was later diagnosed with a ruptured meniscus. He now faces a long lay-off and may require surgery.
Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar has left the decision of whether surgery is necessary up to Spurs, but warns that recovery from the operation takes a minimum of four weeks.
Lasmar said: “Last week he initially responded well to treatment, but complained that the pain had returned. He will return to his club for treatment.
"We found there was a swelling in the calf muscle and a ruptured external meniscus. With these injuries, he is unable to recover in time for the competition."
Brazil will face Ecuador in their final group game, and a draw is needed to guarantee qualification in to the quarter finals.
Sandro said: “It's hard to talk right now because we had plans for a beautiful tournament with my friends and now everything is under water. I'm calm. The players gave me a lot of strength and I want to thank them all.”
Tottenham will play Everton at White Hart Lane on August 13th in the season opener, and Sandro is unlikely to be available for selection.
If the injury proves to be more serious than first thought, it could persuade Harry Redknapp to move for West Ham captain Scott Parker, a player the manager is known to be an admirer of after admitting in May that he would consider a move for the player this summer.
Parker has been linked with the likes of Aston Villa and Chelsea after the Hammers were relegated last season, and the England international could be seen as the perfect replacement should Sandro face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.