Colchester United's new signing Ben Coker has been ruled out for two months after damaging ankle ligaments.
The midfielder, who only signed a permanent deal last week after impressing on trial, will miss the start of the season after suffering the injury in training.
Us manager John Ward said: "It was a freak accident, but it's quite a nasty one.
"The young kid started so well and it's a shame for him, but it could have been a lot worse."
The 21-year-old played for Colchester's reserve side at the end of last season and had spent the last three weeks training with the squad.
Coker began his career as a trainee at Northampton Town, but was released by the Sixfields outfit and left to join non-league side Histon.
He then moved to Bury Town 18 months later and Town manager and former Us captain Richard Wilkins recommended him to Colchester.