Doncaster Rovers have suffered what boss Grant McCann termed a ‘big, big blow’ after Joe Wright was ruled out for much of the rest of the season.
The defender suffered a clash with team mate Tommy Rowe in training last Friday and damaged ligaments in the same ankle he injured on the training ground in November.
Though he initially seemed fine and was included in the squad to face Crystal Palace in the FA Cup on Sunday, he was sent for a scan on Monday after feeling further pain which uncovered the problem.
And it is highly likely he will undergo surgery to repair the damage to his ligaments.
The prognosis of an eight to ten week absence means it is unlikely Wright will be fit to feature in any further regular season games for Rovers, but could return in time for a potential play-off campaign.
“He had a 50-50 tackle on Friday, leading into the game,” McCann said.
“It was another freak accident on the training ground again where he's gone for a 50-50, he's opened up his ankle and wasn't ready for it and it's opened up the ligaments.
“He trained the next day, he was available for the game on Sunday.
“He was feeling a bit of pain in it and got it checked out and there it is. He came in on Monday and went for a scan and he's completely ruptured his ligaments in his ankle.
“We're looking at eight to ten weeks which will be close to the end of the season.
“By the time he gets back to fitness, there won't be many games left.”
A superb start to the season from the defender was halted when Wright – who signed a new two-and-a-half year deal last month – damaged his ankle after an accidental clash with Andy Butler in early November.
The progress on his recovery had been slower than expected but the 23-year-old was closing in on a full return to action after three appearances for the club’s U23s.
Wright had a fight on his hands to get back into the team with Paul Downing and Tom Anderson showing superb form as a duo and Andy Butler being forced also to wait patiently on the bench.