Harrogate Town defender Danny Stimpson has been ruled out for the season with cruciate knee ligament damage.
He was injured in the pre-season friendly against Spennymoor Town and has been told he will be unable to play for nine months.
Manager Simon Weaver told BBC Radio York: "We're trying to keep his spirits up. It's a shocking injury.
"He's only 21 now and the surgeon did say he'd come back stronger so I think he'll be stronger mentally for it."
Weaver added: "All that early excitement about getting him in the team and bedded in and looking forward to him having a fantastic season has gone out of the window."
The manager confirmed he is not looking at bringing anyone in to cover Stimpson and he will use his current squad.
"We've got Matt Bloomer, we've got Richard Pell and Adam Nowakowski who can all play centre-half," he said.
"We've got Paul Heckingbottom who is also experienced at centre-half as well as well as left-back, so we've got a fair bit of cover back there.
"We might still be looking in the forward area to get a little bit more power into the team but other than that, people have to sieze the opportunities when they get them.
"It's down to these boys to stake a claim."