Dundee United have been rocked by the news that Scott Severin needs an ankle operation after breaking down.
The 31-year-old has not featured since October and had been working on his fitness in training before disaster struck.
Severin is now booked in for a clean-up operation and manager Peter Houston is not sure how long he will be on the sidelines.
"Scott is going in for surgery because he broke down when we were training on the beach," explained Houston.
"That's a blow because we thought he was ready to come back.
"But now he needs a clean-up operation and we won't know how long he's going to be out for until they open his ankle up."
However, the club has been boosted by the news that winger Craig Conway has stepped up his recovery from a knee injury.
Houston continued: "Craig is doing well in the gym and is feeling no pain so he's going to be back sooner rather than later."