Wesley Fofana will undergo surgery on Monday that will keep him sidelined until next year after Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed that the defender's broken leg is more serious than initially feared.
Fofana, 20, missed Leicester's 1-0 Community Shield victory against Premier League champions Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday after sustaining the injury during a preseason friendly against Villarreal last Wednesday.
The centre-half was injured following a rash foul by Villarreal's Fer Nino, which Rodgers described as a "horrendous challenge" in the aftermath of the game against last season's Europa League winners.
And speaking after Leicester's Wembley win against City, Rodgers said that Fofana now faces a long road back to fitness once his recovery begins after Monday's operation.
"[Fofana] will play in 2022 at some time," Rodgers said. "But unfortunately, the ligament damage is quite bad. He has an operation on Monday and his recovery will start there.
"He is in great spirits, he wants to stay here in Leicester and be around his teammates. Sometimes players want to go back to their country, but he is staying here."
In Fofana's absence, and with Jonny Evans also unavailable, Rodgers deployed Daniel Amartey at centre-half against City and hinted the midfielder could continue to fill the void if Leicester fail to sign a replacement for Fofana before the Aug. 31 transfer deadline.
"Whatever I have asked Daniel Amartey to do he has always done so with great commitment," Rodgers said. "His attitude is first class and he's very much a team player. He was outstanding."