France coach Didier Deschamps believes World Cup-wining skipper Hugo Lloris could be sidelined until next year after dislocating his elbow.
The Tottenham goalkeeper fell awkwardly after failing to collect a cross as Spurs were beaten 3-0 at Brighton.
The Premier League club confirmed the injury later on Saturday evening but had not put a timescale on a possible return.
Lloris, captain of both Spurs and France, would have joined up with Les Bleus for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey but now misses out.
"He has had tests. It is difficult to say how long he will be out, I am not a medical specialist," Deschamps told a press conference.
"As far as we (France) are concerned, he obviously will not be with us for this camp, nor the next one.
"Processes will be put in place for his rehabilitation. We are talking several weeks, indeed several months.
"He will not return to the pitch in 2019, that's almost certain."
Deschamps admits France will be missing a "very important" player but has backed the likes of Alphonse Areola, Steve Mandanda and Mike Maignan to shine in Lloris' absence.
"It's hard to quantify but he is a very important player - it's a loss for us," he added.
"But we have played without him before, even if he has not had a long-term injury like this before in his career.
"Other players will take over to allow the team to continue to perform."
Tottenham declined to comment on Deschamps' claim when contacted by the PA news agency.
Australian Associated Press