Striker Billy Clarke could miss the whole of Blackpool's first Barclays Premier League campaign with a serious knee injury.
The 22-year-old has been ruled out until April at the earliest after rupturing a cruciate ligament during pre-season.
Clarke was injured just two minutes into Blackpool's first summer friendly against Tiverton Town on July 16 and it was initially thought he would be out for three months.
However, the problem is worst than first feared and the player has now undergone surgery.
Manager Ian Holloway said: "It might be the whole season now. He was looking so sharp in training and had done so much in the summer to try and get over the knocks he had last year. We're all gutted for him, absolutely gutted for him."
In a further blow for the Seasiders, forward Louis Almond has been ruled out for up to three months with a dislocated shoulder.