Bristol City face a surgery dilemma regarding injured defender Liam Fontaine.
A hospital scan this week revealed the 24-year-old will be out for at least a month after he missed the recent win over Derby with a damaged ankle.
The same ankle was operated on last year and Fontaine's surgeon believes he may have to go under the knife again.
City boss Keith Millen said they must now decide whether to rest the defender in the hope the problem will right itself or agree to a second operation immediately.
Millen told the Bristol Evening Post: "It's a tough decision and we still have to work out what is best for Liam.
"The surgeon who performed his operation (last year) says the problem could clear up if he has four weeks of rest.
"But if it doesn't and he then needs surgery, he could be out for most of the rest of the season.
"If we decide to send him for an operation now, then he will be out for a minimum of six weeks. But it could mean he is back quicker than if we trust in rest alone.
"I need to sit down with my medical staff, discuss all the possible options and then decide what to do."
But, on a more positive note, skipper Louis Carey could feature in the Robins' busy festive schedule.
The defender tore a calf muscle in a 3-1 defeat to Leeds last month but could make a return in the Boxing Day clash with Reading following a pain-killing injection.
Millen added: "It's good news where Louis is concerned. He had his jab in the week and it's taken a lot of the swelling down and made him more comfortable.
"If all goes well in training, it looks as though he may be available to us over the Christmas and New Year period.
"Given that we have four games in nine days, we are going to need as many bodies as possible. Louis can play at centre-back or right-back and it will give me more options if he is fit."