Troy Deeney is expected to miss the start of the 2017-18 Premier League season, according to Watford head coach Marco Silva.
Club captain Deeney is recovering from groin surgery and is unlikely to be ready to face Liverpool in Watford's bow on August 12.
The 29-year-old has hit 23 league goals over the last two seasons and Silva accepted he will be without Deeney for his first match in charge.
"We'll see - for the first match it is not easy," Silva told a media conference. "I believe, maybe [he is] unavailable for the first match of the season.
"Of course he started to work with us but had to stop for the surgery. He stopped training and when he is ready he will come back and help us, like in the last few years."
Happy for the big guy signing another 2 years has been fantastic both on and off the pitchJuly 27, 2017
Watford have been linked with a move for Liverpool winger Lazar Markovic, with the Serbian having been told he can leave Anfield by Jurgen Klopp.
But Silva played down reports he could move for the 23-year-old, who scored two Premier League goals under his leadership in a loan spell at Hull City last season.
"The truth is we haven't done anything for Markovic," said Silva. "He's one player who played very well with me in the last four months at Hull.
"He is not going to stay at Liverpool but at this moment he is still a Liverpool player. We need to complete our roster, put more competitive players in our roster to help everybody to improve."
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