Hearts winger Jamie Walker has been ruled out for around 10 weeks after breaking his foot in the Scottish Premiership clash with Motherwell.
The 20-year-old sustained the injury in the closing minutes of the 1-0 defeat on Saturday at Tynecastle.
Walker was sent for an X-ray on Monday morning and the club's worst fears were confirmed with results showing he has suffered a broken metatarsal which requires surgery.
He will go under the knife on Thursday and is expected to be out of action for around two months.
Hearts boss Gary Locke said: "It didn't look good for the lad on Saturday and now we know for sure.
"He's had a scan and he'll have surgery later this week. It's just another blow for us which we'll need to take on the chin.
"It gives an opportunity to someone else, but our are options are getting fewer."
The injury to Walker is a blow for the league's bottom club, who are operating with a stretched squad as a result of entering administration.
Hearts started the campaign on minus 15 points and are virtually guaranteed Championship football next season as they sit 20 points adrift at the foot of the table.
However, the Edinburgh club have already won their biggest battle of the season by avoiding liquidation.