Crewe have been forced to shelve their plans to bring in Burnley forward Steve Jones on an emergency loan deal.
Jones suffered a knee injury when he came off the bench for the Clarets against Coventry last month, with the damage now found to be more serious than first feared.
First-team coach Steve Holland had been hoping to bring in Jones as The Railwaymen fight against relegation to League Two.
Holland told the club's official website: "The result of his scan has revealed a grade two tear on his medial knee ligament, so he is looking at least another three weeks.
"It isn't going to be a few days like Burnley thought it might be, so from our point of view it is very disappointing.
"It is another setback and sums up the luck we are having in the transfer market at the moment. We are still hopeful of doing a deal but it doesn't look as though that it is going to happen in February now."
Holland remains hopeful of bolstering Crewe's squad as they battle to stay out of the drop zone.
He added: "We are still actively seeking one or two players. I am still waiting on a couple of calls. All we can do is wait for the go-ahead."