Essex and England all-rounder Ravi Bopara has been ruled out of action for between six and eight weeks by a side strain.
The news is a massive blow to Essex and it all but ends any hopes Bopara may have had of playing in the Ashes this summer, should any of England's batsmen suffered injuries.
He picked up the injury during the Eagles' t20 victory over Kent Spitfires and
Essex coach Paul Grayson told BBC Radio: "Ravi is in such a good place mentally at the moment and is playing the best cricket I have seen from him in a long time, so it's a huge blow.
"It will be like replacing two players as he's batting and bowling so well."
In a second blow for the county, batsman Mark Pettini has been ruled out for a month with a quadricep muscle injury.
"Mark has forged such a great partnership with Hamish Rutherford at the top of the order so it's very frustrating to disrupt that," Grayson added.
"It is all hands to the pump now, but we know we have a strong squad and I think we can deal with the losses.
"James Foster and Ryan ten Doeschate will probably move up the order because in most teams they would be batting much higher."