Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has admitted that Carl Cort could be ruled out for the rest of the season.
The striker had cartilage surgery on his troublesome knee in November and initial expectations were that he would be sidelined for about three months.
However, McCarthy now fears that Cort could be out for twice as long and realises that he cannot afford to plan ahead for when he does eventually return.
"He's the type of player I would really like to have, but it's going to take a while for him to come back and I don't think we'll be seeing too much of him this season," McCarthy told the Birmingham Mail.
"The operation he had could mean six months out, and even if it's four months that takes us into March.
"Of course it would be great if he did come back, if we got to March and he was suddenly back fit and back involved, but even then there's a hell of lot of points and places to play for before then."
Cort's three-and-a-half year deal expires next summer but McCarthy believes there is little point in holding any contract talks until the former Newcastle man has proved his fitness.
"The contract now isn't a real issue at the moment - that's unfortunate but it's the way it is and the way things have transpired," he said.
"Corty has just got to get himself fit now and we'll take it from there and see what happens a few months down the line."