There will be a few prayers emanating from St Andrew's this week that talismanic Birmingham City striker James McFadden can return from knee surgery quicker than expected.
The Scotland international has had a huge impact since his £5million transfer from Everton in January and his presence is akin to that of Christophe Dugarry when Blues successfully escaped the Premiership trap door in 2002-03.
The similarities are evident. Like the Frenchman, McFadden can create and score goals in equal measure; against Newcastle United recently, he was the catalyst to everything positive Blues did as an attacking force.
However, it was in that same match that McFadden suffered a torn cartilage in his knee and he underwent keyhole surgery on Friday night. He is expected to be out for only three weeks but, with only seven matches remaining, his absence will be felt.
Disappointed manager Alex McLeish said: "It's a huge blow to us because he's been in scintillating form and he's brought a lot to the team but what can you do about it?
"We reckon he'll be out for at least three games so the sooner we get him back the better. It happened after the Newcastle match. We were not concerned at first, because we thought it was just a knock, but over the past few days the physiotherapist thought it might be a tear in his knee and so it proved to be.
"It is a huge loss for us. James has been in excellent form, he's brought something to the team and inspired other players, but it's a chance for others to stand up."
Argentine striker Mauro Zarate was picked to replace McFadden and he scored his first goal for the club in Saturday's 2-1 defeat against Reading at the Madejski Stadium but, as yet, Zarate does not bring his team-mates into play like the 24-year-old Scot.
However, midfielder Mehdi Nafti believes that Zarate can successfully fill the void while McFadden recuperates from injury.
The Tunisian international was restored to the Blues starting line-up in place of captain Damien Johnson and played behind Zarate in a diamond-shaped midfield as the visitors unsuccessfully chased the game in the second half.
"We need players like Mauro in the team, like Olivier Kapo, Mikael Forssell and James McFadden," Nafti said. "If we don't have them, what are we going to do? Pump the long balls forward? We need these players because, without them, we have no creativity in the team.
"Mauro is that kind of player who can unlock defences and we are delighted he has scored his first goal. He is a boy but he can only get better.
"Of course, he has to learn to play within the team because he wants the ball all the time but he is only 21. If he keeps going the way he is and the manager keeps giving him minutes on the pitch, I think he will have a great future.
"I was surprised we played with the diamond with Mauro in front of me, because I think it is the first time we have played like that, but I was quite happy because it was the system I used to play in Spain."
Liam Ridgewell, who captained the side in the absence of Johnson and will now serve a two-match suspension after being cautioned for a tenth time this season, also backed Zarate to become a key player for Blues in the final few weeks of the season.
"Obviously, James is a good player and he has been playing well and scoring goals. It is a big blow," he said.
"But I think Mauro has come in and played very well. It was very important for him to score his first goal for the club and he produced a good display in the second half. That will do his confidence a lot of good and hopefully it will spur him on to score a few more and try to keep James out of the team when he returns to fitness."
Andre Bikey nodded home both Reading goals, getting away from his marker Radhi Jaidi each time, but McLeish failed to condemn his Tunisian centre-back.
"Jaidi is 6ft 2in and is capable of looking after himself. Unfortunately Bikey got the jump on him twice," he said.
"Radhi will be feeling disappointed about that. He's an experienced player and a Tunisian international but I won't criticise him because he's played well for us."