Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke has been ruled out for a minimum of six months after rupturing his Achilles Tendon injury in training today, the club have confirmed.
The striker, who will undergo surgery, will also now miss the World Cup for Belgium this summer.
"It's a terrible blow both for Christian and for the Club," said Villa manager Paul Lambert.
"He will miss the rest of the season, obviously, and also the World Cup. But he’ll work hard because that’s what he does and he’ll come back for us stronger than ever next season."
After a fine first season following his £7m move from Genk in 2012 - which saw the forward score 23 in 39 games - he has struggled for form this season but a recent upturn had seen him score six in his last 11 matches as Villa moved clear of the relegation zone.
Lambert’s side sit 12th in the league with seven games remaining, eight points clear of the bottom three. They host bottom side Fulham on Saturday.
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