Gillingham striker Adam Birchall will miss the opening months of the season after suffering a knee ligament injury.
The 26-year-old joined the Gills earlier this month from Dover Athletic after scoring 45 goals last season.
Gills boss Andy Hessenthaler told the club website: "We've had the results back from Adam's scan and unfortunately it's not good news.
"There's no point trying to put a time limit on his recovery, but it will keep him out a few months."
Hessenthaler added that Birchall had impressed since joining: "We have seen glimpses of what Adam can bring to the side in the handful of pre-season matches that he has played so far.
"It's a bitter blow to the lad, and it's not good news for us either because he was such an important part of our plans."
Birchall will see a specialist at the Princess Grace Hospital, London, before being operated on next week.