Rangers manager Walter Smith admits he is bracing himself for the news that Lee McCulloch is out for the rest of the season.
The midfielder, 32, will visit a specialist on Tuesday to determine whether he will require surgery on the knee problem which kept him out of Sunday's Old Firm derby.
McCulloch had been playing through the pain barrier with a cyst in his knee since pre-season but was forced out of last Wednesday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League game against Hearts.
Reports at the weekend suggested his season could be over and that will be the case if medics decide he needs an operation. Smith revealed he was steeling himself for bad news.
He told www.rangers.co.uk: "It could well be the case that Lee is out for the rest of the season and we're preparing for that aspect.
"If an operation is necessary, he'll be out until the end of the campaign but we'll see what the situation is once he has been assessed."