QPR captain Nedum Onuoha faces at least three months on the sidelines with a torn hamstring.
Onuoha, 30, suffered the injury during the first half of last week's 2-2 draw against Millwall.
The defender requires surgery and Rangers initially feared he would be out of action for even longer.
"It was thought to be worse than that," said boss Ian Holloway. "It's only going to be three months. He's torn his hamstring off, bar a tiny thread."
Onuoha's injury is a major blow for Rangers as fellow defenders Grant Hall, James Perch, Joel Lynch and Steven Caulker are also currently unavailable.
The club considered re-signing former captain Clint Hill, who is a free agent having left Glasgow Rangers during the summer.
However, the two parties were unable to agree terms and Hill will not be returning to Loftus Road.