Falkirk defender Aaron Muirhead is facing a month on the sidelines after being told he needs to undergo a knee operation.
The 26-year-old missed the weekend’s victory at Raith Rovers and the Irn-Bru Cup thrashing of Elgin City a week earlier after being troubled by a niggling cartilage problem.
And after being assessed by a specialist, the former Patrick Thistle player has been informed that surgery is required to mend the injury.
Falkirk assistant manager James McDonaugh said: “He’s going to be out for the next few weeks, he needs a tidy-up operation. It’s not long-term but it’s just a wee cartilage problem, so he’ll be back in a few weeks.
“He might come back even stronger but he’ll be disappointed at having to sit out, especially when we’ve gone and won the last three games.”
McDonaugh is hoping the Bairns will be able to welcome back two players at the start of next month, with defender Peter Grant making steady progress in his rehabilitation from a knee cruciate injury.
McDonaugh added: “They’ll probably be back at the same time. Peter’s not doing any contact stuff yet but he’s very close to that, he’s ahead of the long-term schedule so he’ll be back around about the same time as Aaron.
“We’ll try and get him through the next week or so then get him involved in some contact stuff for a couple of weeks, and then maybe get him involved in some Under-20s games. Hopefully there are no set-backs.”