Emile Heskey ruled out for a month for Aston Villa
Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey has been ruled out for up to a month with a medial knee ligament injury, the club have confirmed.
Heskey suffered the setback in training yesterday and will require surgery.
The former England player has started the season in fine form and is joint leading scorer with four goals.
It is another striker setback for Villa boss Gerard Houllier, as Gabriel Agbonlahor is still recovering from groin surgery.
John Carew, who has struggled to make an impact so far this season, is the club's only fit senior frontman ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at Fulham.
England Under-19 player Nathan Delfouneso will also be in contention to face the Cottagers.
Heskey, who quit international football after the World Cup this summer, has been revitalised since the arrival of Houllier as Martin O'Neill's successor.
The former Liverpool player has finally started to win over the Villa fans after adding goals to his performances.
A club statement read: "Emile Heskey will miss the clash with Fulham after picking up a knee injury.
"Heskey tore the medial meniscus in his right knee yesterday in training [Wednesday] with no other player involved in the incident.
"The injury will require an operation and he faces between three to four weeks out of action."
Carew was Villa's leading scorer with 17 goals last season after an impressive second half of the campaign.
He previously played under Houllier at Lyon before moving to Villa in a swap deal with Milan Baros in January 2007.
Delfouneso has had only limited opportunities this season but impressed for the reserves in their 2-0 away win over Arsenal.
Midfielder Steve Sidwell is battling to overcome flu in time to take on Fulham after missing training yesterday.
But defender Ciaran Clark, who operated in an unaccustomed midfield role against Birmingham on Sunday, is expected to recover from a dead leg.
Latest in Sport
My one and only game for Neil Baldwin FC
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny announce engagement
Jose Mourinho says Chelsea deserve to be setting pace going into Christmas fixtures
Manchester United vs Newcastle United preview: Alan Pardew targets rare Old Trafford win to halt Newcastle slump
Arsenal vs QPR: Leroy Fer seeks perfect present for Boxing Day
- 1 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Vagina canoe artist facing two years in jail defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader