Cole sustained the injury in the FA Cup replay victory over Southend last Wednesday night and Nevin, who suffered a similar setback during his playing career, said: "The moment he went down the second time I was pretty sure I knew what the injury was.
"Having 'done' my cruciate shortly after I left Chelsea and joined Everton it looked obvious to me. It is a horrible feeling where the pain of the damage doesn't initially hit you until you try to twist and suddenly the bottom part of your leg feels as if it isn't connected to the top part.
"It is painful and Joe now faces a prolonged period of recuperation that is difficult to cope with, as it quite simply cannot be rushed in the early phase.
"The cruciate ligament itself has to be given time to mend and the best you can do is upper body work to keep yourself as fit as possible until the time when some bike work, swimming and then light jogging can slowly be introduced.
"While a player is going through this he can only watch helpless as the team goes on without him. The impotence is bad enough but there is always a fear in the back of the mind that the knee might never be the same again.
"Certainly a couple of decades back this would regularly be considered a career-ending injury, but happily medical science has moved on a great deal and that is a very unlikely outcome now.
"Once my cruciate had healed fully I never thought about it again throughout my career or in the years since my retirement. If the operation goes well many surgeons feel that, counter intuitively, when the cruciate repairs it becomes stronger than it was originally before the injury happened."