Nottingham Panthers now seem likely to be without Great Britain forward Matthew Myers until late January.
Panthers have revealed Myers broke his hand in training before last Saturday's home loss against Belfast Giants.
It was initially thought that he would only be sidelined for about six weeks but it is now feared that period could be doubled.
Myers still played in the top-of-the-table Elite League clash but was unable to help Panthers avoid a 3-2 defeat.
Coach Corey Neilson told the club website: "This is a big blow. We're going to miss him. He's a key player.
"Matthew was a warrior to even take to the ice on Saturday."
Mark Garside and Craig Peacock put the Giants 2-0 up by the end of the opening period at the National Ice Centre.
Guy Lepine pulled a goal back before debutant Aaron Clarke restored Belfast's two-goal lead by the end of the middle period.
Jordan Fox cut Belfast's lead at the start of the final period but the Giants held on.
Giants, who also won on Sunday, are now five points clear of Nottingham, who remain in second spot.