Nottingham Forest midfielder Lewis McGugan is expected to undergo surgery on a fractured cheekbone on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old suffered the injury during Forest's 4-2 defeat to Watford at the City Ground last Tuesday and now faces up to six weeks on the sidelines to the dismay of boss Billy Davies.
On top of the six-week lay-off the home-grown crowd favourite will be forced to wear a protective mask for up to two months once passed fit to play again.
The influential prowess offered by McGugan will be sorely missed for Forest, who currently sit 20th in the Championship table with just two points from their first four games.
Meanwhile, Forest host early Championship pacesetters Middlesbrough in the Carling Cup second round on Tuesday night after seeing off Bradford in the previous stage.