Swindon Town have been landed a big blow with the news that Dion Conroy is set for a significant period of time out of action.
The centre-back, who has been in fine form this season, limped off during the 3-2 win against Stevenage last weekend and scan results have since showed that the 21-year-old has suffered cruciate ligament damage.
Conroy is now awaiting the green light to undergo surgery and Town Boss Dave Flitcroft has vowed that the defender will have his and the club's support every step of the way.
"It was about as bad as we could have imagined," Flitcroft told the local press at his pre-Forest Green Press Conference earlier today.
"It is a bit of an emotional one as well because you've got a young player who is trying to make his way in the game, understanding where he is and then really putting some solid performances in League Two and becoming a good defender.
"He was absorbing the information, he was taking it on, he was taking it in and we were transferring his thoughts between a ball-playing centre-half into a defender that first and foremost thinks about defending, so it was coming together for D.
"We got the injury read, two radiologists read the report and then we sent him for a scan and to see another specialist, one of the best out there on knee injuries and he gave us the confirmation.
"At this time we are just trying to support D.
"It is too much swelling for him to have his operation so they haven't set an operation date yet.
"It is the mental side of things and you've got to get that right early doors in these situations.
"The rehabilitation will be done slowly to make sure we get it right and lots of players have come through this injury now and have come out the other side, so that's what we as a football club and me as a manager have got to make sure that we do.
"We've got a fantastic group of players and staff here that will support Dion and he will need that support.
"The first couple of months will be difficult emotionally but, when you come out the other side you can see the light and there will be certain blocks that he will really struggle with, but if you ride up a hill then by the time you've got to the top you have achieved it.
"We are going to have to get him to that point and I'm sure when he comes out the other side of it he'll be a different person for the experience.
"We've got a fantastic group of players and staff here that will support Dion and he will need that support."
"It is a cruciate knee ligament and luckily there is no cartilage damage in there so it was clean as it could be.
"It is long-term and that's how we're managing it."
And Flitcroft revealed that he is currently scouring free agencey in a bid to bolster his centre-back options.
"We've already started to understand what the squad might look like in January and you are forever continuing to do that even though the window is closed," he added.
"We are coming up with names and if we've got to shuffle the pack in January then we can do.
"At the minute the only option allowed to us are lads that are free of contract and there's not many out there.
"It is a position that is always short in terms of choices but we are looking and we are speaking to people currently.
"It is a position we haven't got enough cover for so we are looking in that area."
Meanwhile, Town will have Donal McDermott available to them tomorrow after he served a three-match suspension, while Johnny Goddard and Kyle Knoyle could also both be in contention after returning to full training following long injury lay-offs.
"There's only Dion Conroy now on the injury list," Flitcroft continued.
"Donal has been put through his paces over the last couple of weeks and is now available, as is Johnny G and as is Kyle Knoyle so we've had a really productive couple of weeks.
"We've been nursing Kyle back and it would have been nice for him to get a 60-minute game under his belt but sometimes circumstances dicatate that you can't do that.
"We do know that on the testing and on his GPS that he's got the work in on the training ground and it is great for Kyle to be back on the training ground.
"I've noticed a real buzz around Kyle as he's got back with the lads."