Southend United centre back Efe Sodje will miss the season run-in with the League One leaders after breaking his leg.
The Nigerian international fractured his fibula during Saturday's 1-1 draw at Bournemouth and the 33-year-old now faces up to three months on the sidelines with the injury.
The news is a blow to Shrimpers boss Steve Tilson, with the Essex club looking to maintain their position at the summit of League One in the final six matches.
"I've spoken to Sodje today (Monday) and as you can imagine, he's very down about the injury, but he's not disheartened," Sodje's agent, Dan Fletcher, told skysports.com.
"It was a clumsy forwards tackle that led to the injury, but these are part-and-parcel of football unfortunately.
"Sodje's told the Southend lads that them going on to securing the club's promotion will cheer him up no end, as there's certainly more than enough in Efe's tank for another crack at The Championship."
Sodje will be joined on the sidelines by fellow defender Spencer Prior, who will also miss the rest of the season with the recurrence of a knee injury.
The 34-year-old injured medial knee ligaments and will not return again for the Roots Hall club this term.