Luton manager Mick Harford has revealed that Drew Talbot could be out of action for up to nine months.
The striker picked up an injury during the Hatters' 1-1 draw with Cheltenham on 22nd March, but the severity of the problem has only recently become apparent following a number of scans.
Talbot, who joined Luton from Sheffield Wednesday in January 2007, will now play no further part in the club's bid to maintain their League One status.
Despite failing to find the target in 27 appearances in the league this season, Harford admits that the squad will miss the striker's infectious personality.
"Drew Talbot has got anterior cruciate ligament damage and will be out for six to nine months," the Hatters boss told the club's official website.
"I like Drew, he's good to have around and he will be missed."
Harford is currently preparing his troops for a crunch encounter with fellow strugglers Gillingham on Tuesday, and appreciates that it is vital his side take maximum points from their fixtures with the teams around them at the bottom.
"They need to win so they might leave it open at one end," he said.
"It is a must win game for both teams."