Newport County captain Andy Sandell believes the club's former striker Chris Zebroski can revive his career once he has served his jail sentence.
County terminated the 28-year-old's contract after he was jailed for four years and four months for two attacks.
Sandell says that has affected Newport, who suffered a fourth straight loss to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.
"It has done [affected the players] because he was so well liked in the camp," Sandell said.
"He'll still have a good few years to get his career back on track.
"It's come as a massive shock because he's my best mate here. It feels like my right leg's gone.
"We're all behind him. He'll be in jail a minimum of two years, I'll visit him every week so he's still my friend."
Zebroski was Newport's second leading scorer of the season prior to his sentencing at Swindon Crown Court on Friday.
"Whatever talent you had as a footballer has been squandered because of alcohol abuse," recorder Ian Lawrie said during the case.
"It is a matter of regret if this sentence shatters your professional football career."
However, Sandell believes Zebroski could resume his career once he has served his sentence.
"He's lucky, he's just naturally fit, so he could do nothing for two years and probably still go for a three-mile run," added the County captain.
"Knowing him, he'll keep his head down, do his time and come out all guns blazing, hopefully in a couple of years.
"Obviously we'd rather him here and playing. When he plays for us he's a danger for the opposition, so it's taking one of our best players away from us."