Aston Villa have been dealt a blow by the news that Boubacar Kamara has suffered a knee ligament injury.
The West Midlands outfit won a hotly-contested race to sign the 22-year-old on a free transfer from Marseille during the summer.
Since then, the Frenchman has started in each of Villa’s seven Premier League matches, completing the 90 minutes on four occasions before the game with Southampton on September 16.
However, Kamara lasted less than half of the contest with the Saints having needed to be withdrawn shortly before the break.
That subsequently led to Kamara pulling out of the France squad for their UEFA Nations League fixtures with Austria and Denmark, which represented his last chance to impress ahead of the World Cup in November.
Nevertheless, Kamara’s chances of participating in Qatar are now very much in doubt with the news that he faces a significant period on the sidelines.
A club statement read: “Aston Villa can confirm Boubacar Kamara suffered a knee ligament injury during last Friday’s victory over Southampton.
“The midfielder sustained the damage during the first half of our encounter with Saints and was replaced by Douglas Luiz shortly before half-time.
“As a result of the injury, Kamara was forced to withdraw from the French national squad for this round of UEFA Nations League fixtures and has begun a rehabilitation programme.”
Although Villa have not put a timeframe on Kamara’s recovery period, reports in France suggest that the versatile defensive-minded player will be sidelined for approximately two months.
Should that prove to be the case, it will almost certainly lead to Didier Deschamps leaving Kamara out of his World Cup squad with the first fixture due to take place against Australia on November 23.
From Villa’s perspective, it now appears likely that one of their star signings will be sidelined until the Premier League resumes on Boxing Day.
Gerrard’s side are scheduled to play nine times between October 2 and November 13, eight of those matches taking place in the top flight.
Villa currently sit in 15th position in the standings after accumulating seven points from as many matches.