Newcastle United goalkeeper Rob Elliot is out for 'several' months after injuring his anterior cruciate ligament while away on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
Elliot flew back to the north-east on Wednesday morning bracing himself for a definite verdict on his knee injury after the 28-year-old was carried from the field on a stretcher after twisting his knee as he attempted to make a save just 14 minutes into the Republic of Ireland's 2-2 friendly draw with Slovakia.
Manager Martin O'Neill later revealed the early indications were he had suffered "serious" ligament damage.
And Newcastle United have now confirmed the severity of the injury.
A statement read: "Newcastle United can confirm that goalkeeper Rob Elliot has sustained an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament, suffered during the Republic of Ireland's friendly fixture against Slovakia last night.
"Rob has returned to Newcastle and has been assessed this morning by the Club's doctor. He will now commence a programme of treatment and rehabilitation.
"Regrettably the severity of this injury will rule Rob out for a number of months.
"Everyone connected with Newcastle United wishes Rob the very best for his recovery."
It means Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is left with just two goalkeepers, with Elliot - many people's player of the season - and Tim Krul both out for the rest of the campaign.
The Magpies face fellow relegation candidates Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday with Karl Darlow and teenager Freddie Woodman waiting in the wings.
Elliot, whose Euro 2016 dream is over, was taken to Dublin's Mater Hospital for a scan while the game was ongoing, but later returned to the team hotel in Castleknock.
He jetted back to Tyneside, accompanied by Ireland team-mate and Sunderland skipper John O'Shea, wearing a knee brace and walking with the aid of crutches on Wednesday morning ahead of a second scan.
It confirmed the club's worst fears with Elliot now ruled out for several months.