Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed Christian Benteke is unlikely to play again until 2019 after undergoing knee surgery.
Having been injured since early September, the Belgian striker is now facing a further stretch on the sidelines despite the successful operation.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Hodgson explained how they had originally tried to avoid surgery.
He said: "Christian Benteke was operated on yesterday. We tried the conservative route to put an end to his knee problem, which he has suffered with for a while.
"That didn't work out. There was always the risk that if it didn't work out an operation would be necessary and I got the bad news that the operation was necessary, had taken place and now he will be out for a long period of time."
The former England manager also went to clarify that he hoped and expected Benteke to be back later in 2019, but couldn't be sure of anything beyond the fact that we won't likely see the Belgian feature again this year.
He added: "It's an operation and normally operations take time. It is dangerous for people like myself to start saying 'it will be this amount of time' because you fall foul of the doctors and the sport scientists who have a different view.
"But there's no doubt we won't be seeing much of him this year. I think it will take until into 2019 before we see him, but hopefully earlier than later in 2019."
Palace currently sit 14th in the Premier League. Although they've started this season far better than the 2017/18 campaign, there is still the concern that they aren't scoring enough goals.
The south London side have only five goals in eight games.
Seemingly a touch over-reliant on the form of Wilfred Zaha, Palace will be frustrated to lose Christian Benteke - whose goals could have lightened the load on their talismanic winger.
Without the target man for the rest of the year, the door has opened for other Palace strikers Connor Wickham and Alexander Sorloth, the former of whom is making a comeback from injury.
Speaking on Wickham, Hodgson added: "For Connor, he has looked good these last three or four weeks, but he has had so many injuries and so many setbacks that all we want really now is a longish period without setbacks and then he will get stronger every day.
"He will get more confident every day from the training sessions, and then certainly he will feature - there is no question about that."
Palace next feature away at Everton in the Premier League on 21 October.