Tranmere have been rocked by the news that Ash Taylor is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The midfielder underwent knee surgery earlier this week and could now be out for up to four months.
The 19-year-old has missed all of Rovers' pre-season matches after damaging his cartilage in training.
The injury was repaired on Wednesday evening and he will now undergo rehabilitation with physio Steve Walker.
Manager Les Parry said: "It's a blow for Ash to miss the first few months after he did so well last season.
"But injuries happen in football and he'll come back a stronger player for the experience."