A Thursday evening scan for winger Brennan Dickenson confirmed that surgery will be needed, following a training ground injury picked up ahead of the season opener against Crawley.
“It’s really bad news,” manager Paul Simpson said. “He saw the surgeon on Thursday evening and he does need a reconstruction of his ACL.
“We’re waiting to see, because there’s a tear in his meniscus as well, and there’ll be a decision on whether or not that needs to be repaired to come.
“If it does, he’s out for nine months, but if it doesn’t it means eight months, obviously a little bit shorter, so either way he’s got a lot of work ahead of him before he’s back with us.
“As I say, we need to look after him and make sure we get him through it."
"I imagine he’ll be going through a little bit of a tough time at the moment," he continued. “He’s had a summer where he’s just got married and he’ll have felt like he was living in paradise, so this is a blow.
“We’re hoping the operation is going to go ahead in the next couple of weeks, the surgeon doesn’t feel as though he needs to do any strength work because he’s in really good shape.
“Hopefully it’ll be before the end of August and that’ll then be the start of his recovery period. It is a shame because he’s had a good pre-season and the reason I wanted to keep him is that I think he can be an asset.
“He was ready to show me he deserved to start the season and the sad thing is that when you have a setback like this it opens the door for somebody else.
“He has to stay strong, do his work, and we’ll certainly be there to help him along the way.”
And he also confirmed that keeper Scott Simons faces a spell out, having had his operation.
“Scott had his shoulder repaired on Friday so his recovery starts from there,” he told us. “He's another who needs to do what’s needed, and we have a really good group of staff who understand that people need to be looked after.
“Scott is a young lad who is determined to get over this and, with our help, he will.
“Taylor Charters is another, he’s had his setback with his hamstring, but he will back out on the grass with us soon.
"He needs a pre-season, to be honest, he needs to build himself up, and he’s another who just wants to do the work and give himself a chance.”