Hartlepool United caretaker manager Mick Wadsworth has expressed his disappointment following an injury to Andy Rafferty.
The goalkeeper will be out of action for a minimum of three months when an x-ray revealed the 22-year-old suffered two broken bones in his finger during training last week.
Rafferty, who joined the club at the end of last season, will undergo an operation later this week to repair the injury.
Wadsworth said "It's a blow for us and for Andy."
"Andy has come in and worked extremely hard in pre-season and we were seeing some great signs of development so this is disappointing for him."
"With goalkeepers you have to take hand injuries very seriously so he'll have the operation quickly and then be given the best treatment as he recovers."