Stoke City and Mali striker Mama Sidibe will miss the rest of the English Premier League soccer season after rupturing his Achilles tendon for the second time in six months.
The latest injury rules out Sidibe from the 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifier match against Zimbabwe in Bamako next month.
The Mali international (31) had been set to return to the first team before being injured in training on Thursday.
According to BBC Sport, Stoke manager Tony Pulis confirmed the injury was unrelated to the one he suffered against Tottenham Hotspur in August.
“It’s the same ankle, but higher up on the tendon this time,” the Stoke boss told the club website.
“It’s wretched luck for the lad, who has had more than his fair share of injury setbacks over the past two years.
“But there is no reason why he can’t battle his way back to full fitness.
“I know he has the determination and dedication to do it and we will give him all the support he needs. He would definitely have played some part in the second half of our season and he was very close to being ready for inclusion in the squad, so this is a massive blow for him and us.”
Sidibe had returned to action ahead of schedule, having initially been ruled out for the rest of the season after being injured against Spurs.
He scored on his comeback for the reserves last Tuesday and was likely to be named in the squad for the Premier League game at Birmingham on Saturday, which Stoke lost 1-0.