Brighton & Hove Albion winger Solly March is unlikely to feature again before the end of the season, says manager Chris Hughton.
The 20-year-old missed the start of the campaign with a back injury and has not played since early February.
"Solly is making progress," Hughton, 56, told BBC Sussex.
"If there is any participation this season then I think it's going to be minimal. Probably we are speaking about next season."
Last year March, who joined Brighton from non-league side Lewes in December 2011, signed a new deal until 2018 at the Amex Stadium after impressing for the Championship side.
However, injury has restricted him to 13 appearances this season, with his only goal coming in the 2-0 win at Fulham in December.
"If there is any way we can get him back before the end of the season, even if it is only an involvement in one or two games, we will try our best to do that," said Hughton.
"It has been frustrating for him because he is a young player that really wants to be playing at this stage of his career. He is not someone who is used to being injured."
With striker Sam Baldock also sidelined with injury, Hughton bolstered his forward options with the loan signing of Middlesbrough winger Mustapha Carayol last week.
"This club knew him and he was on the radar before I got here," added Hughton.
"We've had some problems in that position with Solly being injured and Sam occupying the wide area, even though it is not his position.
"With any loan player who comes in, it is an opportunity to look at him. Sometimes any thoughts for the future can be based on what you see."