Fulham winger Harry Wilson is set to miss at least two months of the new season with a knee injury he suffered in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Aston Villa last week.
Wilson, an integral part of the Whites’ promotion campaign, hoped to face his former club Liverpool at Craven Cottage in Saturday’s season opener.
However, boss Marco Silva confirmed the Wales international, who is now facing a race against time to be fit for the World Cup in November, will be sidelined for some time in what is a huge blow to his side’s hopes of getting their season off to a strong start.
“It is difficult to give a timeline because he is still getting feedback from the specialist, but it won’t be something that is very short,” Silva said.
“It will be something more than eight weeks, that is what they are saying. Anything less will be very good for us.
“He will be a very big miss for us with what he can give us in certain games.”
Despite the blow, Silva is confident Wilson has enough time to prove his fitness for the Wales when they embark on their first World Cup campaign since 1958 against the United States on November 21.
“I don’t think (he will miss out),” Silva said.
“He deserves to be there and I think we have to stay positive and say he will be back to help us before the World Cup.
“But it is something we are not sure about of yet.”
Midfielder Nathan Chalobah will also miss the Liverpool game with a minor knock.