Crewe captain David Artell is set to miss the rest of the League Two play-off campaign after suffering a broken metatarsal during training.
Artell was due to return at centre-back from a hamstring injury for Saturday evening's semi-final first-leg against Southend at Gresty Road, which the Railwaymen won 1-0 thanks to Adam Dugdale's second-half header.
But a knock in training left the 31-year-old with a break that will sideline him for six to eight weeks.
"Dave's obviously out now for six to eight weeks with a broken metatarsal in his foot, which was a blow, but we coped very well without him," said boss Steve Davis following the success over the Shrimpers.
"He is a blow, he's a player that you need in your team with that experience that he's got."
Artell played 36 times for Alex this season and scored the winning goal against Cheltenham last month in what proved to be his final outing.