Fleetwood Town defender Brad Halliday is to miss the rest of the League One season with an anterior cruciate ligament knee injury.
Boss Simon Grayson feared that the 26-year-old would be ruled out for a spell after he limped out of the 1-0 defeat by Sheffield Wednesday.
The news was confirmed by a specialist and Halliday can now focus on recovery.
"It's devastating news for Brad but also for us as well," Grayson told BBC Radio Lancashire.
"He's done ever so well for us, settled in really well, and to suffer such a bad injury so early in the season is hard to accept.
"He's in good spirits and good hands and he'll come back stronger physically and mentally from it."
Teesside-born Halliday joined Fleetwood from Doncaster in pre-season, having been at Middlesbrough, Cambridge, Hartlepool, Accrington and York previously, and has 279 career appearances, scoring four goals.