On-loan Burton Albion defender Tom Parkes is highly unlikely to play again until next year after fracturing his ankle in the draw against Port Vale.
Parkes has returned to his parent club Leicester City to undergo surgery.
Brewers boss Paul Peschisolido said: "It's disappointing for the lad and obviously disappointing for the boys because he was an integral part of the team.
"He'd come in and done extremely well - he was looking sharp."
The 19-year-old, who rejoined Albion from Championship side Leicester City in the summer, had impressed the Burton manager in two previous loan spells and with his attitude in the close season.
"I keep going on about this new focus that he had and he really worked hard over the summer months to make sure that he came in in peak condition.
"Unfortunately for the boy he's gone and broken his ankle."
Parkes' loan stint at the Pirelli Stadium was scheduled to expire at the end of January 2012 but it is thought he will not return to the League Two side.