Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that Wesley Fofana will be out until 2022 as he requires an operation on his broken leg.
The 20-year-old was scythed down by a completely unnecessary challenge from Villarreal forward Fernando Nino during a pre-season friendly at King Power Stadium, and it was immediately apparent that he'd suffered a serious injury.
It was confirmed after the game that Fofana had broken his fibula in the tackle, but speaking after Leicester's 1-0 win over Manchester City in the Community Shield, Rodgers alluded to the fact that his young defensive prospect had also suffered extensive ligament damage as well as a bone break - outlining when he might be able to return to action.
"He will play in 2022 at some time. The ligament damage is quite bad," Rodgers told BBC local radio. "He is in great spirits, he wants to stay here and be around his team-mates. Sometimes players want to go back to their country, but he is staying here.
"He has an operation Monday and his recovery will start there."
Rodgers has already suggested that he may look to sign a replacement for Fofana before the transfer window closes, with fellow first-team regular Jonny Evans also currently sidelined. In their absence, Daniel Amartey - who has played at full-back and in midfield during Rodgers' tenure - deputised alongside Caglar Soyuncu, and the Northern Irishman was quick to praise the versatility of the 26-year-old after he nullified the threat of makeshift forward Ferran Torres.
"Whatever I have asked Daniel to do he has always done so with great commitment," he added. "His attitude is first class and he's very much a team player. He was outstanding today."
Leicester have so far completed deals for Boubakary Soumare, Patson Daka and Ryan Bertrand, strengthening their squad ahead of another campaign headlined by Europa League action. But the Foxes are also bracing themselves for a bid from Arsenal for James Maddison; the playmaker having been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium.
It's unclear whether or not Maddison is interested in leaving King Power Stadium, although one thing is clear - Arsenal are unable to offer him European football this season, having failed to qualify for Europe after an inconsistent 2020/21.