Caley Thistle defender Carl Tremarco faces a race to be fit for the start of next season after suffering cruciate ligament damage.
Tremarco was carried off during the first-half of Inverness’ 4-2 defeat at Motherwell last weekend after landing heavily following a challenge by Well midfielder Chris Cadden.
The Englishman visited a specialist this week, with Caley Jags manager Richie Foran initially fearing Tremarco could be sidelined for up to nine months.
The injury is not as bad as first feared, however, with Tremarco yesterday boosted by the news he will not need an operation, although the 31-year-old still faces an absence of between three to six months.
That means Tremarco will miss Inverness’ crucial five remaining games this season, with the Highlanders five points adrift at the foot of the Premiership.
The news is a blow to Foran’s hopes of avoiding relegation to the Championship, with Tremarco one of Caley Jags’ most impressive performers this season.
The left back has come to prominence as an unlikely goal threat this season and is Inverness’ leading goalscorer with seven goals in all competitions.
Caley Jags’ next fixture is Friday’s crucial Highland derby against Ross County at Dingwall.