Rochdale manager Keith Hill expects midfielder Jamie Allen to miss the rest of the season after suffering a head injury in their defeat by Oldham.
The 20-year-old has made 35 appearances for the League One side this term.
Allen suffered a cut to his head in a collision with Latics full-back Mat Sadler just before half-time, and Hill said the injury will require surgery.
"It's probably going to be season ending - he's had to go hospital," the Dale boss told BBC Radio Manchester.
"He's probably going to have to have plastic surgery.
"So his season could be over, but one thing I do know about Jamie is his career won't be over because he's an outstanding talent."
Midfielders Peter Vincenti and Stephen Dawson also picked up injuries before half-time, and Rochdale finished the game with 10 men after Ashley Eastham was hurt in the 75th minute.
Defeat left Hill's side eighth in the table, three points behind Peterborough, who occupy the final play-off place with nine games to play.
"The season's still wide open for us," Hill added.
"The players are very hungry - they're very disappointed with respect to the result.
"But I trust these young players, and there's more young players to come into the squad.
"I believe over the nine games that we've got, with the young players that we've got, that we'll pick up a tidy amount of points."