Dundee United striker Marc McNulty faces two-and-a-half months out after undergoing hamstring surgery.
The 29-year-old Scotland international, in his second loan spell at Tannadice from Reading, was injured during last month's Scottish League Cup quarter-final defeat by Hibernian.
"Hopefully we will have him back just before the new year," said manager Thomas Courts.
"It was really disappointing because Marc was performing well for us."
McNulty has yet to score after six games for United this season, having netted four in 30 last term.
"I think it was only a matter of time before the goals were coming," added Courts.
"So yes, it was disappointing but the feedback we have had from the surgeon and medical team is that it was a clean operation and he will be back fighting fit, hopefully around the new year."