Southampton captain Andrew Davies has been ruled of the remainder of the club's relegation scrap with a fractured cheekbone.
The 23-year-old former Middlesbrough defender picked up the injury in a Championship clash with Blackpool earlier in the month and will be on the sidelines for around six weeks.
The south coast club are currently just two points clear of the Championship relegation zone.
"It's a huge disappointment for him, for us and for the fans," manager Nigel Pearson told the club's official website.
"Andrew had a depressed fracture by his eye socket, and although I'm not a medical man, I believe there was a possibility of sight loss if he played and got hurt.
"That's a risk we're certainly not prepared to take."