Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist has spoken of his disappointment after discovering the extent of Kyle Lafferty's injury.
The striker has been ruled out for six weeks after suffering ankle ligament damage in the 2-2 league draw with Hearts at Ibrox last week.
The former Burnley man has had a stop-start first season at the club after joining from the Championship side in the summer.
The Northern Ireland international has seen his campaign disrupted by injuries and even when fit he has often been asked to fill in on the left hand side.
But three goals in as many games in his favoured striking role had seemed to suggest he was finally finding his best form and McCoist admits that the injury couldn't have come at a worse time for both the club and player.
"It's a massive blow, more so for the player himself because I felt that, and I'm sure a lot of people would agree, that in the last couple of games he was beginning to look like himself," he said.
"He got a couple of goals and was looking the part. It just sums up his season a little bit because he has had one or two injuries and it has been a stop-start season for him.
"But I'll remain optimistic until I'm told otherwise."
Lafferty's appearances on the left wing could be the reason for his relatively poor goal return of five in 20 SPL games, only nine of which he has started, and McCoist seems to agree.
"In my opinion he will be a centre forward and a good one at that," he added.
"We've probably been a little bit unfair on Kyle by playing him out on the left. Sometimes you just try to get all your goalscorers on the park so you can get more goals from all areas.
"Maybe that was a little unfair on him although he did score at Tannadice.
"He looks more at home through the middle, with goals against Hamilton and Hearts, and I thought he played well in the game against Celtic through the middle in the second half.
"It's a real disappointment for him but he's young and he will handle it fine. He will be down in the dumps. But I'm very hopeful we will see him before the end of the season.
"If it's not to be, then it's not to be, but I think we have seen enough of him through the middle to realise he is now a good centre-forward for us."