Barcelona summer signing Ousmane Dembele will be out of action for up to four months after he picked up a thigh injury that required surgery in his first La Liga start on Saturday against Getafe.
The Frenchman had to be replaced in the first half by Gerard Deulofeu at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, and Barcelona confirmed a disappointing diagnosis on their official website:
"Ousmane Dembele has ruptured the tendon in his femoral bicep in his left thigh. The player will be operated on by Dr. Sakari Orava in Finland this week. He is expected to be out for between three-and-a-half months and four months."
Barcelona later confirmed a successful operation had taken place on Tuesday, reiterating the three-and-a-half-month timeline.
The news will come as a huge blow to Barca.
The Catalan giants signed 20-year-old Dembele from Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth up to £135.5 million in August to replace Neymar after the Brazilian left for Paris Saint-Germain.
Ernesto Valverde's side have won all four La Liga games so far in 2017-18, with Dembele in for just 51 minutes in the Spanish top flight. But he will be a big miss.
Given he is unlikely to play again until 2018, Barca will have to find a way of keeping pace in La Liga and navigating the UEFA Champions League group stage without him.
Deulofeu will be called upon to step up in Dembele's absence, while Denis Suarez could also be useful in softening the blow of his injury.