Liverpool will be without midfielder Lucas Leiva for up to two months after he suffered knee ligament damage during the 2-2 Anfield draw against Aston Villa on Saturday.
Brazil international Lucas, 27, sustained the injury around 20 minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute with Liverpool trailing 2-1.
Scans showed that he damaged the medical collateral ligament in his right knee in a challenge with Fabien Delph, and sources have told ESPN FC he is likely to be out until late March.
He was reported as saying he had heard a click in the knee as he went in for the challenge, and later tweeted that the extent of the injury was “in God's hands."
Seja o que DEUS quiser . It is in GOD hands http://t.co/tNroNv5egq— Lucas Leiva (@LucasLeiva87) January 19, 2014
The setback could lead manager Brendan Rodgers to search for defensive midfield reinforcements in the January transfer window.
Lucas has suffered an awful run of injuries in recent seasons. In November 2011, he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a League Cup victory at Chelsea, forcing him to miss the remainder of the campaign.
Shortly after his comeback in August 2012, he tore a thigh muscle during a Premier League game against Manchester City, keeping him out for a further three months.