It has been a bleak time for Stephan El Shaarawy whose season has been destroyed by injury and the AC Milan marksman is facing another setback.
The 21-year-old had just returned to action for the Rossoneri after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a foot fracture.
But before he could get back in his stride El Shaarawy has suffered inflammation to his troubled left foot.
The man nicknamed Il Faraone had tests at Milan's La Madonnina clinic and met with professor Niek Van Dijk in Amsterdam.
The good news coming from the results was that El Shaarawy hadn't fractured the foot again but the bad news was that he won't be able to play in 2013.
"There's no way out!!!" El Shaarawy posted on his Twitter account after receiving the news of his latest layoff.
The form of Kaka, which has led to the deployment of the Christmas tree formation, plus the imminent arrival of Keisuke Honda has led many to suggest that El Shaarawy will need to leave San Siro, probably on loan, to find playing time.
However, the injury may have come at just the wrong time if he is to attract a new employer.
image: © goatling