Villa were today rocked after Jores Okore was ruled out for the rest of the season.
The defender suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Newcastle and will be sidelined for nine months.
Okore, a £4m summer signing from FC Nordsjaelland, limped off against the Magpies after tangling with Loic Remy.
He limped off but Villa’s worst fears have been realised after a scan revealed the extent of the injury.
A Villa statement read: “Following clinical examination and the results of an MRI scan, the club can confirm that Jores Okore sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament injury in his right knee in the game against Newcastle on Saturday.
“Jores will undergo surgery in due course and he could be sidelined for a period of up to nine months.”
The 21-year-old missed a month of pre-season with a hamstring injury but returned to make his debut in the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea.
He started the 1-0 loss to Liverpool and League Cup victory over Rotherham before Saturday’s setback.
Okore’s injury is another damaging blow to Villa with the side searching for their first Premier League clean sheet in 26 games.
Denmark international Okore, who turned down Chelsea in January, was signed to bolster their leaky backline who haven’t kept a league shutout since a 0-0 draw with Stoke last December.
Nathan Baker is available after recovering from an ankle injury but Ciaran Clark stands by to face Norwich on Saturday after replacing Okore against Newcastle.
Skipper Ron Vlaar remains first choice with Villa looking to arrest a slide of three straight Premier League defeats since their stunning 3-1 opening day win at Arsenal.
Matt Lowton can also play in the centre but the injury leaves Villa suddenly short of defensive cover and without a chance to address it properly until the transfer window opens in January.
Villa team-mate and fellow Dane Nicklas Helenius tweeted his support for Okore, who signed a four year deal at Villa in June.
He wrote: “My thoughts turn right now to Okore, my friend and teammate. I will help you get back.”
Meanwhile, Villa’s under-21 side drew 1-1 with Tottenham last night after Kevin Toner’s opener was cancelled out by Spurs’ Harry Kane.