Sunderland midfielder Jan Kirchhoff is facing a long spell on the sidelines after suffering torn knee cartilage, manager David Moyes has confirmed.
Moyes has been light of midfield options in recent weeks with centre-half Jason Denayer filling in, as the likes of Jack Rodwell, Didier Ndong, Lee Cattermole, Paddy McNair and Lyndon Gooch have been sidelined.
Only recently back from a hamstring injury, Kirchhoff is the 10th Sunderland player to be laid low by injury as Moyes has struggled to plot a course away from danger - the Black Cats are bottom of the Premier League heading into Saturday's clash with Watford.
"Unfortunately Jan Kirchhoff has torn his cartilage in the game against Chelsea," said Moyes.
"That's a real blow for us because they [Sunderland's injuries] are not short-term; they are out for a while with them. That's the way it's been and we move on.
"These injuries are not like hamstrings or groins they're picking up, they're twisting a knee or damaging it in some way in the game."