QPR striker Andrew Johnson will miss the majority of the season after suffering a cruciate ligament injury in Saturday's goalless draw with Chelsea.
The 31-year-old moved to Loftus Road at the start of the summer after failing to agree a new deal at former club Fulham but now looks set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Johnson was replaced by Jamie Mackie during the first half of the stalemate with west London rivals Chelsea and Rangers confirmed this morning that the England international will be out for some time.
A statement on the club's official website read: "R's front-man Andy Johnson is set for a prolonged period on the sidelines after scans revealed the 31 year-old suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the goalless draw against Chelsea on Saturday.
"Johnson was forced from the fray in the 33rd minute against Roberto di Matteo's men, and is now likely to be sidelined for the majority of the 2012/13 season."
Johnson has seen the last few years of his career curtailed by injuries and missed a large chunk of the 2009/10 campaign for Fulham after suffering a severe knee injury.
The former Everton forward, who has amassed eight England caps, was only making his second league start for the club and the severity of the injury will come as a blow to manager Mark Hughes who was hopeful after the game that he would be back sooner.
"AJ felt something in his knee. We hope he's going to be okay, but it's a little bit of worry," Hughes told http://www.qpr.co.uk.
"You need players like AJ in the squad because they give so much. We'll send him for a scan over the next few days and hopefully he'll be okay."
Hughes' side have collected only two points from their opening four Premier League fixtures but the former Manchester City boss believes his new-look squad are starting to gel together nicely.
"Every time we've played, if you take away the Swansea game which none of us saw coming and we were poor on the day, we've picked ourselves up and each game we've got better," he said. "We're getting personnel back who are fit and at the right level so I can use them so as the games come thick and fast the group will get stronger."
QPR face a tough trip to Tottenham next Sunday as they look for their first league victory of the season but Hughes' squad will also have to deal with the loss of two other players injured in the Chelsea stalemate.
On-loan Manchester United youngster Fabio and defender Anton Ferdinand suffered hamstring injuries and the club confirmed both are set to miss at least two weeks.
It means both will be struggling to return in time for Reading's visit to Loftus Road in the Capital One Cup on September 26 and the home game against West Ham five days later.