Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has vowed to return stronger than ever from the anterior cruciate ligament injury that has ruled him out for the rest of the season.
The 24-year-old Brazilian was stretchered off in Tuesday evening's Carling Cup victory over Chelsea, following an innocuous challenge with Juan Mata at Stamford Bridge.
Reds fans' worst fears were confirmed when news broke yesterday that Lucas would be out of action for at least six months - meaning he will miss the remainder of the 2011-12 campaign.
Kenny Dalglish will now be forced to come up with a plan B in central midfield to fill the hole left by Liverpool's stand-out performer.
Lucas and Charlie Adam were well established as the primary pairing in the Anfield engine room, starting all but one of Liverpool's 13 Barclays Premier League matches - and that only because the South American was suspended for the home game against Norwich.
"I am really sad with the news because I was enjoying a lot on the pitch," posted Lucas on his Twitter page.
"I am sure I will come back stronger and I will achieve everything that I dream with the LFC shirt. I am sure I'll never walk alone."
Liverpool are back in action when they travel to Craven Cottage to face Fulham in Monday evening's Barclays Premier League encounter, and will be looking to continue their run of form with another three points against Martin Jol's side.