Rangers boss Walter Smith says Kevin Thomson's recent injury blow has come at the worst possible time.
Thomson could be out of action for eight months after picking up a cruciate ligament injury in Gers' 4-0 win at Kilmarnock on Sunday.
The 24-year-old clashed accidentally with David Fernandez late in the game at Rugby Park and now looks set for a significant spell on the sidelines.
Smith admits the news is a massive blow for Thomson who has been producing the best form of his career.
"It's a blow to ourselves but it's also a huge blow to Kevin," said Smith.
"He has been doing extremely well for us in recent weeks.
"I think the biggest frustration for Kevin will be the fact that he has had his settling-in period at Rangers and was doing extremely well and was now playing at the level I would expect him to play at.
"It's a big disappointment for everyone that this has happened."
Thomson suffered a similar injury with Hibernian back in 2004 which kept him sidelined for 11 months.
Asked how he has taken the news of another lengthy absence, Smith said: "He is okay, the experience of having already had the injury might help him get over the disappointment.
"But I think it will take a few weeks before he gets over it."
Smith has been boosted by the return of skipper Barry Ferguson after he recently shrugged off an ankle injury to make a couple of substitute appearances for the Gers.
Ferguson's return is some respite for Smith who admits it will not be easy finding a replacement for Thomson.
"That happens and I suppose that's football in many ways," said Smith.
"We are now getting Barry back, which is a plus for us. But it is a big loss for us that Kevin is missing out.
"The most disappointing thing at the moment is losing Kevin, who is a different type of player from the other midfield players that we have."