Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba will be out for at least three months with a knee injury, ruling him out of Zimbabwe’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign next month.
The 27-year-old, who was forced off during Villa’s 1-0 defeat at Liverpool on Saturday, had an operation on the injury this week.
“The surgeon is really happy with how it’s gone and now he’ll start his recovery process and recovery plan,” Villa boss Steven Gerrard told the club website.
“He’s going to be missing for somewhere in the region of 12 weeks if it is a fantastic rehab. Or it could be up to 16 weeks.”
Nakamba joined the Premier League club from Club Bruges in August 2019 and has made 14 appearances in all competitions this season.
His injury is another blow to Zimbabwe ahead of the Cup of Nations, which begins in Cameroon on 9 January, after Brendan Galloway of League One club Plymouth Argyle suffered a dislocated kneecap last month.
The Warriors, who have never progressed past the group stage at the tournament, have been drawn in Group B with Senegal, Guinea and Malawi.