Fiorentina's medical staff have confirmed that talented youngster Stevan Jovetic will be sidelined for eight months as he requires two operations to repair knee ligament damage.
Jovetic, 20, was recently linked with a move to Barcelona and was expected to be Fiorentina's key creative influence for the coming Serie A season, but news of his injury has come as a crushing setback to the club.
Fiorentina will send Jovetic to Germany on Monday for the first of two operations as they seek to repair the damage caused by the serious injury sustained in training. The Montenegro international faces a prolonged period of recuperation and has taken the news hard.
"He will require two operations. The first to stabilise the external collateral ligament and external meniscus, while the stabilisation of the anterior cruciate ligament will be done in a second operation," Dr Ulrich Boenisch told the club's official website.
"The lay-off time will be around two months more than the six for a traditional operation, but the two surgeries will guarantee an easier recovery process for the player.
"He was very shaken. I described the clinical diagnosis and found him to be in shock when he realised how bad the lesion was and what awaits him. At the end of the day I think he found faith in us and relaxed a little bit. The most difficult thing is telling a young athlete that he'll need two operations with an 8-10 week gap between them.
"I urge the fans to have faith, not just in me, but in the work of the club's whole medical staff. It is crucial that my operation goes well, but the rehabilitation must also be perfect."