Essex are considering signing a new overseas player after losing Australian batsman Rob Quiney to injury.
Quiney damaged his shoulder while taking a catch during the County Championship defeat to Lancashire, and he is expected to require surgery.
The left-hander was contracted to play for Essex for the first half of the domestic season, but he now faces being sidelined for around 12 weeks.
Essex head coach Paul Grayson said: "He will probably be having an operation on his shoulder within the next week or 10 days and he'll be out of action for quite some time.
"Bobby will be a loss, he's been batting well and has been outstanding in the dressing room and has fitted in really well with the lads.
"We are discussing his situation and exploring options at the moment to bring in someone else for the rest of his contract period which is up until the end of the Friends Life t20 competition.
"We will have our two IPL boys back quite soon so that will help to give us options."
Quiney had made an encouraging start to the season for Essex, scoring 388 runs in all competitions including two half-centuries in as many YB40 clashes.