Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson expects Alan Smith to be out for a long time after he suffered an horrific leg break against Liverpool.
Smith had only just recovered from an ankle injury
Smith collapsed in agony after he tried to block a John Arne Riise free-kick in United's 1-0 defeat in the FA Cup.
A grim-faced Ferguson said: "It's one of the worst I've seen. He's broken his leg and there's a dislocation of the ankle joint.
"It's a very long-term injury - we're all behind him as he's a brave lad."
The game was delayed by five minutes as Smith received treatment and was given oxygen as he was stretchered off.
United's medical team were given help by Liverpool club doctor Mark Waller as the midfielder waited to be carried off.
Ferguson added: "I wasn't aware of what had happened because I was following the path of the ball, but you saw the reaction of the players round about Alan and you knew it was a bad one.
"It is another bad blow for us and it sums up our season."
Ferguson's counterpart, Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, was quick to offer his sympathy to Smith.
"We're all so sorry and we can only wish him all the best for the future," he said.