Libor Kozak is out for the rest of the season, Steve Bruce has confirmed.
Kozak will be missing for the remainder of the 2016/17 campaign after undergoing an ankle operation.
The 27-year-old has had a torrid time in claret and blue due to fitness issues.
He broke his leg on the training ground on New Year’s Day 2014 – and didn’t see a moment of action in 2014/15 after having to undergo two procedures on the problem.
Kozak started the 2015/16 season full of promise but unfortunately ended it on the sidelines.
The Czech striker was determined to make an impression at the start of the campaign and, indeed, impressed many with his pre-season performances.
But when the real action began, Kozak wasn’t the preferred choice of Tim Sherwood.
Things did improve when Rémi Garde arrived but that’s when the injury issues started to occur again as he broke a bone in his foot and was unable to return before the end of the season.
Indeed he went in for an operation in the closing weeks of the campaign – and has now been forced into another procedure, this time on his ankle.
The manager said: “Libor has had an ankle operation. He’s out for the rest of the season.
“He’s had a bad time here. It’s a shame for him because he’s been wracked with injuries.”