Promotion-chasing Mansfield Town were dealt a blow with just eight games to go with the news that striker Danny Rose will now be out for another three to four weeks.
Rose was expected back in training this week after his double fracture of the jaw at Newport County on 9th February.
But the healing has not gone as well as hoped for.
“We have had some disappointing news,” said manager David Flitcroft.
“But it wasn’t a surprise. I was 10 foot away from the actual injury and he severed a main artery.
“They rebuilt his fracture and put a plate in it. But it’s probably not healed as well as we’d have expected after four weeks.
“It’s a killer for Dan. We thought we’d have him back in light training and into contact this week. He was pushing for that.
“But the surgeon has seen it again and just said it’s not where he wants it to be.”
However, Flitcroft remained philosophical, despite Rose staying on the treatment table with fellow strikers Craig Davies and Jordan Graham.
“You have got healing processes and you have got guidelines,” he said.
“ And, if I am being honest, you have got to go off the player and make sure he comes back absolutely flying.
“We might have him for the last three weeks of the season and that’s how I look at things.
“When you get the news you have got to see you have potentially got that player and then move on from that.
“You can only ever control what’s in your destiny. There is no one more gutted than Danny to hear that news.
“But we want a fit and healthy Danny Rose and in three weeks time we will hopefully get that.”