Rangers have confirmed that defender Kirk Broadfoot is set to be sidelined until the New Year.
The 26-year-old has been struggling with a foot problem and tried to play through the pain barrier as injuries mount for the Scottish champions.
There had been reports he could now require surgery and face three months out of action.
And although assistant manager Ally McCoist confirmed Broadfoot is unable to play at present, he is hoping the injury is not as serious as reports suggest.
"Kirk has had a re-occurrence of his foot injury," he told the club's official website.
"We don't know exactly how bad the situation is just yet but there is undoubtedly a problem.
"He has been taking some pain-killers and anti-inflammatory tablets but we now have to get to the nub of the problem.
"Kirk is old school and I mean that in the nicest possible way. He will play when he is not 100% and he has not been 100% for a lot of the time this season.
"He wants to play football. He wants to train and he wants to play and it's wonderful to have someone with that attitude.
"But unfortunately the situation with his foot is such that it is too much for him to play through so we will need to get it diagnosed.
"It's not looking great at the moment but hopefully it won't be too long term."
Broadfoot's absence will be a big blow for manager Walter Smith given his versatility as he can play anywhere across the back four.
Smith is already without striker Nikica Jelavic, who is still recovering from a serious ankle problem, while Madjid Bougherra, Maurice Edu, Kyle Lafferty and Sasa Papac have all missed recent games through injury.