Fiorentina fear that striker Mario Gomez could be out for up to three months when he undergoes a scan to assess knee ligament damage on Monday.
The Germany international picked up the injury during Sunday's 1-1 draw with Cagliari at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella saw his big summer signing leave the field with an expression which was as revealing as the initial scan on his right knee.
Gomez did not even pass by the dressing room as he was taken straight to hospital with an ice pack on his right knee. Given the way he writhed uncharacteristically after sending a shot sailing over the crossbar, it was immediately clear that the Germany international was not only disappointed about missing the target.
Further tests will be carried out on Monday with an absence of around three months forecast for the 28-year-old when the entire extent of the suspected ligament damage is confirmed. Juan Cuadrado’s shoulder injury is less worrying with no fracture or break, but just a dislocation revealed from his scan.
To crown a day to forget in Florence, David Pizarro was shown a red card in stoppage time for insulting the referee, an incident which took Montella beyond boiling point as he confronted the referee at the final whistle, struggling to calm down when he met the media afterwards.
“If a mistake is made on the field, then I can accept that, but what I don’t accept is the fact that there is no uniformity of judgement,” Montella said. “You see images of players insulting referees without getting punished and if there is no uniformity, then you lose credibility.
“Sorry about my fury, but I just can’t manage to accept this. There are certain things that, after what happened last season, we just can’t accept anymore.”
Montella’s reference was to the final day of last season when a controversial penalty decision allowed AC Milan to snatch third place in Serie A and qualify for the Champions League with Fiorentina having to settle for fourth and the Europa League.
“Maybe subconsciously, that is what’s still bothering us, but I always like to believe in the integrity of the footballing system because I enjoy this sport,” added Montella.
Fiorentina’s honorary president Andrea Della Valle added: “I’m worried about Gomez, even if it’s not serious. It was a cursed game for us because we also lost [Juan] Cuadrado. I’m sorry about the result and I’m disappointed.”