Michael Johnson has injured a knee in training and could face a long spell on the sidelines.
The England under 21 midfielder had recently battled back from an abdominal problem that kept him out of the City side for around a year, and as well as scoring against Scunthorpe United in the Carling Cup he had regularly been back on the bench for recent matches.
Johnson will find out the full extent of his new injury in the next few days, and he has already received sympathetic backing from manager Mark Hughes, who said:
"We are all disappointed for Michael, who has worked so hard to get back into first team contention and shown everyone what a good player he is. Unfortunately he might be out for the season but he will receive the best possible care and attention."
Checking over the posts I have written about Johnson, the common feature is how positive they have been - be it his actual recovery from injury and return to first team action, or literally salivating over his talent and the qualities he would bring to the side.
Terrible news then that he has suffered not only a further injury but what appears to be another huge set back in a career that for all its promise, has barely begun in earnest.
No susbtantive news on how the injury occured but it does appear unconnected with any of his previous problems, and at first glance, even if he is not ruled out for the season, it is difficult to see him playing a meaningful part again during 2009/10.