Fulham fear that the midfielder Jimmy Bullard could be out for the rest of the season - despite initial reports that he would be back in just eight weeks after injuring his right knee in the 2-1 win at Newcastle on Saturday.
Bullard said on Monday that an X-ray revealed there "was no bone damage" after his collision with Newcastle's Scott Parker and that the problem was simply a kneecap dislocation.
However, the £2.5m signing from Wigan has now had an MRI scan and a review of his injury which suggests his absence will be more like eight months than eight weeks because of cruciate ligament damage.
Fulham, who have not put a timescale on his recovery, said: "The club can confirm that Jimmy has sustained a serious injury to his right knee and will undergo surgery as soon as possible. He will then require a lengthy period of rehabilitation and the club will report further progress as soon as there are any developments."
The Fulham manager, Chris Coleman, is keen to keep Bullard "involved" with the team despite his injury, inviting the ebullient midfielder to travel with the squad for away games.
He said: "Jimmy is a superb lad... and even though he's injured I'll make sure he stays involved, even if we have to bring him away from home on games. As long as it doesn't interfere with his rehabilitation then that's what we'll do."Reuse content