Bolton defender Sam Ricketts is to miss the remainder of the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
The Wales international suffered the injury during the Trotters' midweek FA Cup win at Wigan.
He was stretchered from the field just short of the hour mark at the DW Stadium, with it immediately apparent that he had suffered a serious problem.
It is now expected that Ricketts will be sidelined for up to six months, meaning he will be unavailable until the start of the 2011/12 campaign.
He is due to undergo surgery on the damaged Achilles on Friday, with Bolton keen to have him on the road to recovery as soon as possible.
The news does, however, come as another major blow to boss Owen Coyle, who this week lost Zat Knight for around six weeks to a knee ligament injury.
On Ricketts' injury, the Bolton boss said: "Unfortunately Sam's ruptured his Achilles and he'll be operated on today but the likelihood is he'll be missing for about six months, which is an incredible blow first and foremost to Sam, because he's been outstanding for us.
"Our immediate thoughts are with him for a speedy recovery and we'll just have to get on with it. It was totally innocuous and it's a real shame because he's a terrific lad as well as a fantastic footballer."
Wigan's pitch was re-laid following Wednesday's cup tie but Coyle denied the state of the playing surface could have been a factor in Ricketts' injury.
He said: "There's no blame to the pitch. Roberto [Martinez, Wigan manager] will tell you it's not a great pitch, certainly not conducive to the way Wigan want to play, but there's absolutely no blame apportioned to the pitch with regards to the injury."
The Scot also confirmed Knight is likely to be out for a prolonged period of time after further assessment of his knee problem.
Coyle added: "He's making progress but we still expect Zat to be missing for six weeks, which is not ideal but that's the nature of football with the speed the game's played at at this level. It's a crying shame for both lads because they've been in terrific form."