Burnley boss Owen Coyle is confident Martin Paterson and Chris McCann will come back as better players after being ruled out with knee injuries.
Both players face three months on the sidelines after Paterson twisted his knee in the Carling Cup defeat at Barnsley, while McCann damaged medial ligaments against Sunderland last weekend.
Coyle admits that Paterson's injury is the 'worst-case scenario' and acknowledged it is a major blow on the back of McCann's injury.
However, the Clarets chief is expecting the young duo to respond positively to their setbacks and emerge improved players for the experience.
"There has been a tear on the cartilage," said Coyle on Sky Sports News. "We were hoping he had just nicked it, which would have been two to four weeks, but it's the worst-case scenario and coming on the back of the news of young Chris McCann it's a body blow for both the players, first and foremost.
"That's my concern. It's not great news when your young players, who I believe are top players, get injuries and our thoughts are with the players.
"It will be hard for them to take, but we will make sure they get the best rehabilitation and support system in place and I do know they will both come back bigger and stronger and better players for the football club.
"They are both young players who have been terrific since I have been at the club and both of them have got a big role to play when they come back."
Coyle is optimistic he has enough cover to cope with the injuries, but stressed his priority is to see McCann and Paterson return.
He added: "What it does mean is it's an opportunity for players to come in and grab those jerseys because both players had played every game. We've got good players here.
"But first and foremost at the football club our thoughts are with both Chris and Martin, and they will get the best treatment possible and will come back bigger and stronger players for us."