TOWN striker Andy Booth will be out until the New Year.
Manager Peter Jackson fears a lay-off of up to six weeks for the stalwart frontman, who will be 31 on Monday.
Booth still has a badly swollen ankle after being forced off in the 2-1 home defeat by Wrexham and ligament damage is almost certain.
A similar injury to Paul Scott last season kept him out for five weeks, so Jackson is resigning himself to being without a key striker for a busy spell of Coca-Cola League I fixtures which will shape Town's revival for a shot at the play-offs.
"Andy's ankle is still a mess, all black and blue, and we have to accept that he's likely to be out until beyond the New Year," said Jackson today.
"It is obviously the last news we wanted and a massive blow at a stage when he had just got himself fit again after missing three games with a hamstring injury.
"This is a real sickener for Boothy and for the squad as a whole and the assessment at the moment is something like four to six weeks on the sidelines.
"If he gets back any earlier than that then fantastic, but we have to be realistic and prepare for the worst scenario."
Booth was hurt after only five minutes of the Wrexham game when falling awkwardly on his left ankle and, despite trying to continue for a further 13 minutes, he had to be replaced by Junior Mendes.
The striker's ankle is still swollen 3cm (more than an inch) bigger than his right ankle and could be another week or 10 days before it returns to normal, so he is obviously taking no part in preparations for Wednesday's trip to Swindon (7.45).
While Jackson is still trying to clear the way to sign goalkeeper Paul Rachubka on a permanent deal, he is happy to report that striker Akpo Sodje is having a trouble-free recovery from a torn thigh muscle.