West Brom have been rocked by the news that skipper Curtis Davis faces ten weeks out after breaking a bone in his foot.
The young stopper picked up an infamous broken metatarsal in The Baggies' 2-0 defeat at Sunderland on Bank Holiday Monday.
Former Luton defender Davis will see specialists on Thursday for an exact timescale on the injury but he could be out for as long as ten weeks.
The news is a massive blow for Baggies boss Bryan Robson with the impressive Davis proving to be a fine leader of the side, while it also adds to the club's problems at centre back with Neil Clement and Thomas Gaardsoe also injured.
"Curtis is going to see a specialist today (Thursday) who should give us a better idea of how long he will be sidelined for," Robson told the club website.
"It's obviously a big blow because Curtis is our captain and a very important player for us.
"But this means it's a great chance for other players in the squad, like Paul McShane.
"When young players get a chance it's up to them to prove they're worth a place in the team."
McShane and fellow summer signing Chris Perry will now form the clubs; central defensive partnership, although the experienced Steve Watson could also operate in the heart of defence.