Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has revealed James McFadden will not make his comeback before the end of the season.
McFadden has been sidelined since late August with cruciate ligament damage and will not be rushed back into action despite making good progress.
McLeish is keen to take care with McFadden as he hopes to have him available for the start of next season.
"He is not going to make the end of this season. He has missed the whole season virtually after playing in the Liverpool game in August," said McLeish.
"That is unfortunate for us but more unfortunate for the player because for me he was looking tremendous with his performance against Liverpool.
"But he will be back for the start of next season."
Meanwhile, McLeish is hopeful Nikola Zigic will play some part in the final three games of the campaign.
Zigic has made just one substitute appearance for Blues in the past two months after struggling with groin and hip problems.
McLeish is hoping a different course of treatment will finally enable the big striker to get back to playing.
"We are hoping he will make one of the games before the end of the season," added McLeish.
"We've tried to do something different treatment-wise with him.
"He has seen a chiropractor (for manipulative work). Although he has got a hip problem, there are connections to other muscle groups and it includes his back.
"If we can get him back it will be a boost because he was at the top of his game when he started to get problems."