Birmingham City have suffered their latest slice of injury woe following the loss of midfield man Mehdi Nafti for probably the entire season.
And Blues manager Steve Bruce could see his squad further weakened if Championship promotion contenders Sheffield United succeed with a bid for Clinton Morrison.
With long-term casualty David Dunn still not ready for action, Bruce's surprise decision to re-open his long-standing interest to sign Nicky Butt on loan now looks an extremely far-sighted one.
The Blues boss will be able to draft his old Manchester United team-mate straight into the action for Saturday's season opener at Fulham.
But Bruce still regards Nafti's loss with a torn cruciate knee ligament injury suffered in last Friday's warm-up against Deportivo La Coruna as a "massive blow".
The 26-year-old Tunisia international's absence comes just five weeks after he signed a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee from Racing Santander following four months on loan at St Andrew's earlier this year.
"It sums up the last 12 months," said Bruce. "Nobody has suffered long-term injuries the way we have, after the way we lost Mikael Forssell, Muzzy Izzet, Dunny and Stan Lazaridis last season.
"With Mehdi now, no other Premiership club have suffered five major injuries like that.
"It seemed an innocuous challenge. And we thought he'd got got away with it. After all, he was able to walk onto the plane on Monday.
"But this is a massive blow. As to whether he's now out for the whole season, you'd have to think so. We have to look at our options as regards replacements, which is difficult as we've only just heard the news and I haven't even thought about it yet."
What Blues' stance will be on Morrison is even harder to call.
After falling further behind in the pecking order for places in the Blues front line after they spent £6 million on the summer acquisitions of Mikael Forssell and Walter Pandiani, it will be no surprise if the club do allow their former record signing to exit.
But, having initially spent £4.25 million on him in that infamously poor value deal which took Andrew Johnson to Crystal Palace three summers ago, Blues will want some sort of return on that initial investment.
Morrison, included yesterday in the Republic of Ireland squad for next week's friendly in Italy, is Blades boss Neil Warnock's second choice after having an approach rejected this week for Preston North End front man Richard Cresswell.