Hamilton star David Templeton is out for at least three months as head coach Brian Rice confirmed a double injury blow.
The 31-year-old attacker has suffered a serious groin injury and he will be sidelined for a lengthy spell along with 18-year-old Kyle Munro, who is also out for three months with a fractured wrist.
Both players sustained their injuries in the 5-3 home defeat to St Johnstone last Saturday and missed the 4-2 loss at Aberdeen on Tuesday night, which kept Accies bottom of the Scottish Premiership table.
After the players underwent scans on their injuries, Rice said: “They are serious. David Templeton and Kyle Munro will probably miss at least three months each, David probably a wee bit more.
“It is a huge blow, I am not going to lie. David is a special talent and young Kyle, it is his first full season with us.
“It is a blow for the lads as well but unfortunately the results have come back and it is one of those things.
“It is the same at every club. When something happens to one player then the opportunity arises for someone else to step up to the plate.
“Young Ronan Hughes came off the bench last week and replaced David and got a couple of goals and 75-80 minutes on Tuesday night, so the opportunity is there to grasp it.”
Asked if he would be looking to bring anyone in during the next couple of months, Rice said: “I will need to speak to the owners about that. We spoke about it before the window closed and we know the financial situation.
“The biggest thing here is that Hamilton is still going as a football club.
“We know the situation financially, we know the situation everyone is in.
“So it is a conversation I expect to be having but if it isn’t then we just have to roll the sleeves up and get on with it.”
Rice full expects Saturday’s trip to face St Mirren to go ahead despite the Covid-19 issues at the Paisley club.
The Buddies’ match against Motherwell last weekend was postponed after a third positive test left the club with only eight available outfield players.
“We have prepared as though the game is on,” said Rice, who will have Scotland Under-19s players Jamie Hamilton and Andy Winter available after their spell of self-isolation.
“I think if there had been any doubt we would have been informed by now.
“As far as we are concerned it is all systems go and we are getting ready to go on Saturday.”