Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul will undergo an operation on his knee and is expected to be out for six weeks, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has confirmed.
Kaboul was missing from Sunday's 4-0 defeat at Fulham after picking up the injury last week.
"Kaboul is having an operation on his knee," Redknapp said. "I'm not sure how long he'll be out for. Maybe six weeks."
Kaboul will miss both legs of Spurs' Champions League second-round tie with AC Milan and leaves Redknapp desperately short of cover at centre-back.
Michael Dawson was sent off on Sunday and will serve a three-match suspension, William Gallas has hip niggle, and Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King are both some way off full fitness thanks to long-standing groin injuries.
Centre half Bongani Khumalo, a £1.5million signing from South African side Supersport, and versatile full-back Vedran Corluka may now be forced into action over the next few weeks.
"We are down to two central defenders," Redknapp added.
"William Gallas has a hip injury. I didn't want to play him today but he had to be on the bench because we didn't have any cover.
"He had to come on when we went down to 10 men. Otherwise I only have Sebastien Bassong if Dawson is going to be suspended for three games.
"Ledley King and Woodgate are not fit. We have one spare defender on our books in Corluka. There is no-one else in the back four."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms