Stevenage Borough midfielder Darren Murphy is facing months on the sidelines after suffering a broken leg.
Murphy has appeared just once for Boro this season when he dislocated his shoulder after earlier scoring in the Carling Cup tie with Portsmouth.
He was stepping up his comeback with an outing in the reserves against Colchester United this week, but will now be out until 2011.
The club's sports therapist Paul Dando revealed the injury is similar to the one which kept team-mate Lawrie Wilson out for eight months last year.
"Murph was admitted to Lister last night to undergo surgery this morning," Dando told the club's official website.
"He has a left lower shaft fibula fracture and may need a screw if the ankle is unstable, so it looks similar to Lawrie last season.
"It's a big blow for him."