Hibernian: Martin Boyle set to be out until 2020 with knee injury
Hibernian winger Martin Boyle is expected to be sidelined until 2020 after suffering a recurrence of the knee injury that caused him to miss the second half of last season.
The Australian international, 26, only returned during pre-season, playing in three League Cup games this month.
Boyle will need surgery again and head coach Paul Heckingbottom said everyone at Hibs was "really disappointed".
"He was a big part of what we wanted to do this season," said Heckingbottom.
"He's got that electric pace, he's got that athleticism we'd love to be using."
Heckingbottom, who has full-backs David Gray and Lewis Stevenson coming back from injuries, told BBC Scotland: "It's a slightly different operation, one that he chose not to have the last time because he wanted every chance of a less intrusive one.
"He'll be back in a few months and that's the important thing, getting him on the pitch.
"He's putting a brave face on things. Having a chat with him today, I think he's put it in perspective. He'll keep working hard and we'll keep working hard to help him."
Boyle initially injured his knee last December while on international duty with Australia preparing for the Asian Cup.
However, he returned to the Hibs side for the League Cup games with Alloa Athletic, Arbroath and Elgin City before suffering the problem in the latter.
"There's no doubting it's a blow because I put everything into my recovery in the last few months," he said.
"The positive is that I know what the rehabilitation entails, and I'm just determined to do things properly and get back to the level I know I can get to."