St Johnstone captain Jody Morris could be ruled out of the remainder of the campaign, says manager Derek McInnes.
The 32-year-old former Chelsea and Leeds midfielder missed eight matches before playing through the pain barrier in the Scottish Cup semi-final.
But, following defeat by Motherwell, league pride is all that is at stake.
"We'll take advice, but we could well be without Jody for the rest of the season, with next season in mind," said manager McInnes.
"The medical people need to make a decision on him, whether it's worthwhile him playing on until the end of the season, or whether it's worthwhile shutting him down and making sure we get him right for the start of next season.
"If that's the case, it presents opportunities for others, for youngsters.
"But I must stress it's not going to dilute the determination and the fact we want to win games between now and the end of the season."
St Johnstone, presently ninth in the Scottish Premier League, on Monday host Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who are four points ahead in seventh.