Dundee United have suffered a blow with the news Francisco Sandaza will miss the start of the season through injury.
The Spanish striker requires a double hernia operation which will rule him out for the first two months of the new season.
United boss Craig Levein admitted it was a major blow to lose last term's top scorer for the beginning of the new SPL campaign.
"Fran has been to the specialist and unfortunately he needs an operation," Levein told the club's official website.
"That will keep him out for a while so he won't do any of our pre-season work.
"It's a huge blow for us and for the player but these things happen. We had hoped rest would cure the problem but as soon as he started running he felt it flare up.
"Fran was looking forward to doing pre-season after missing it last year. He suffered for that so we'll handle things differently this time around.
"He will be back around September along with Jon Daly, Keith Watson and Kevin Smith so the three of them will do a pre-season then."