Terence Kongolo has been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign – and could miss the start of next season.
The devastating news for a defender riven with injury is all the more disappointing after a great full Premier League debut for Fulham against Wolves.
The Whites lost 1-0, but the Netherlands international was one of the pluses on a disappointing night.
Kongolo played a bit part in the FA Cup win over QPR in January – his first outing since suffering a broken foot in February last year.
Now a knee injury sustained when tackling Adama Traore last Friday has added to Kongolo’s woes.
“It might impact his pre-season a little bit,” boss Scott Parker said.
“He is having surgery tomorrow. He will have surgery and then hopefully three months. We will see where he is in the summer.
“I’m gutted for Terence. I didn’t expect him to play as well as he did against Wolves.
“He’d been out for some time and this was his first game back and he was brilliant.”
Parker admitted there is now a psychological challenge for a player who has suffered so many setbacks.
“There is going to be a large part of that,” Parker added.
“He is in good spirits. But there is no denying that the boy has had it tough, from a year out with his foot, stop-start, getting back to fitness. When you have been out for so long, other little niggles come along.
“He worked very, very hard to put himself in a position for the performance you saw on Friday night. You don’t perform like that if the work has not gone in.
“This has been a hammer blow for him.”
Parker was quick to defend a signing that cost the club around £3m on a permanent deal in last summer’s transfer window, but has only played one full game.
“You look back for injuries, but this is sport,” he said.
“Terence will be a very good signing for this football club. He has got an abundance of quality.
“He just needs to come out of this cycle. I’m sure he will. He will work tirelessly to get there. When he does, you will see the player that he is.”
In other team news ahead of Sunday’s derby at Arsenal, Ademola Lookman has recovered from a hamstring injury, but club captain Tom Cairney still has long-standing knee issues.