Bristol City will be without defender Liam Fontaine for at least a month due to a knee injury.
The 25-year-old suffered the blow in training and scans have now revealed the severity of the damage.
The fact that Fontaine may only be out of action for six weeks comes as a boost for City with manager Derek McInnes fearing he could have been out for longer.
City, who have been linked with Leeds' Andy O'Brien, believes Fontaine's absence will give a chance to the likes of James Wilson and Louis Carey.
"When it first happened on the training ground we feared the worst but scans showed it isn't serious," McInnes told the club's official website.
"He won't need an operation but we're still looking at four to six weeks on the sidelines.
"It gives an opportunity to James Wilson and the other defenders, with Louis Carey back in the squad on Monday (at Coventry)."