Sunderland have been dealt another huge injury blow after it was confirmed striker Victor Anichebe has suffered knee ligament damage.
The powerful forward is now facing between 10 and 12 weeks on the sidelines after scans revealed the extent of the damage.
The severity of the injury effectively rules the 28-year-old out for the bulk of the rest of the campaign and leaves Sunderland in need of striking reinforcements before the transfer window closes next Tuesday.
The Sunderland striker damaged his right knee after coming on as a sub in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at West Brom.
Anichebe played on following treatment and showed no ill-effects but his leg was scanned on Monday and test results have now confirmed the club's worst fears, with Anichebe rupturing his medial ligament.
The Echo understands his spell on the sidelines is expected to be around 10 weeks, meaning manager David Moyes will be without the former Everton and West Brom frontman until April.
Anichebe will spend six weeks in a leg brace and joins an already lengthy injury list at the Stadium of Light.
No club in the top flight has suffered with injuries like the bottom-of-the-table team.
Midfielders Lee Cattermole and Jan Kirchhoff, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, and youngsters Paddy McNair, and Duncan Watmore are already on the sidelines - with McNair and Watmore out for the season.
Until pulling his hamstring at Burnley on New Year’s Eve, Anichebe had enjoyed a good run of fitness and form, becoming a big favourite of the Wearside faithful in the process.
He played a key role in the club's run of four wins in seven Premier League games
Jason Denayer, who was hurt at the same time against the Baggies, and forced off is expected to be fit to face Spurs while Lynden Gooch has returned to full training.
Experienced midfielder, Steven Pienaar, has missed the last five matches, though he is running again after recovering from calf trouble.