Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has confirmed that midfielder Michael Johnson will miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury.
The 21-year-old is scheduled to have an operation a week on Monday after damaging his cruciate ligament in training.
It is another setback for Johnson who only recently returned to the side after almost a year out with an abdominal problem.
Now he faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines as Hughes said: "His season is over. It's really disappointing news for him and for the club."
Johnson, who was on the bench on Saturday when City beat Chelsea, was due to play some part against Bolton tomorrow but Hughes revealed that he suffered the setback on Tuesday.
"It was an innocuous situation, his foot just got caught in the turf," said the City boss.
"These things happen but there is significant damage. Michael had worked hard to get back to a level where I was considering him for games.
"He was very much in my thoughts with Christmas coming up.
"It is going to be a difficult time for him but he has shown in the past real strength of character.
"That will sustain him and he will have an operation on the 21st on his cruciate ligament."
Johnson made his comeback from the abdominal problem against West Ham in September and played a month later and scored in the Carling Cup victory against Scunthorpe.
He seemed to be making good progress but this latest injury has cast another shadow over a promising career.