Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes admits Fraser Hornby’s injury is “an absolute disaster” for the Dons.
The on-loan Reims striker suffered a thigh injury during Saturday’s 1-0 victory against Kilmarnock at Pittodrie.
The Scotland under-21s’ record goalscorer, who has made five appearances since joining on deadline day, could be sidelined for up to eight weeks.
McInnes hopes he will be back available quicker than that timescale and be able to play a part over the closing stretch of the campaign.
He said: “It is an absolute disaster for us.
“It was just as we were getting him up to speed.
“With his second half performance against Celtic and the way he started against Kilmarnock, Fraser was giving us a flavour of what he is capable of.
“There is an understanding from us about getting these boys up to speed.
“It is really unfortunate.
“It is his left thigh as well so it is not with repetition from kicking with his right foot which could happen maybe when you have not had a lot of games.
“The fact he has not played a lot of games could be a part in this, who knows.
“Maybe he has just been really unfortunate.
“We need to wait to see how he it is and will him reimaged in a couple of weeks’ time.
“Fraser is feeling good in terms of how it is actually feeling.
“It doesn’t feel like the type of injury the scan is showing.
“From his own point of view Fraser thinks he will be back quicker.
“We will reimage that in a couple of weeks and see where we are but it is a real blow for us.”
Hornby’s injury leaves the Dons with only two recognised strikers – Florian Kamberi and Callum Hendry – ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Celtic Park.
To make matters worse for the Dons, young forward Michael Ruth, recalled from a loan spell at Arbroath during the January window, is also missing due to illness.
The Dons boss said: “We are down to two strikers as young Michael Ruth has been in and out of hospital with, first of all, bronchitis and then glandular fever over the last two or three weeks.
“He is on antibiotics until next Sunday or Monday.
“He won’t be back with us until next week.
“We have two fit strikers at the minute so we are delighted Callum has got up and running.
“Kamberi has been a plus and done well for us.
“We do run the risk at this moment with trying to keep both of them fit and available.”
The Dons boss also expects Saturday’s meeting with manager-less Celtic to come too soon for former Hoops player Jonny Hayes.
The Republic of Ireland international suffered a hamstring problem in the 1-0 defeat at Celtic earlier this month.
McInnes added: “Jonny is improving. Whether he can improve enough for Saturday remains to be seen.
“He is normally quite a quick healer.
“However it is just a week since he did it at Celtic last Wednesday.
“If he doesn’t make Celtic we are hopeful Jonny will make Hamilton next week.”