CENTRE-BACK Nathan Clarke has been ruled out for 10 weeks in Town's latest injury blow.
The club's vice-captain, who was 23 yesterday, has had arthroscopic surgery and must wear a protective brace for six weeks before he can start training.
Clarke has been plagued by knee trouble, but the latest problem, in layman's terms, cracking at the ends of the two major bones in his right knee, is not connected to his previous injuries.
Clarke's injury came during the 3-0 defeat by Oldham last Saturday, two days before his younger brother Tom had a knee reconstruction.
That operation, by Sheffield-based specialist Christophe Rolf, appears to have gone well, and Tom is already doing simple exercises.
Nathan had some tidying up work done during yesterday's procedure, but must remain patient as nature takes its course.
"The value of wearing the brace was shown when Tom had his surgery," explained Town physio Lee Martin.
"The swelling had settled down and the joint become more stabilised, so the surgery was less time consuming.
"Tom is in good spirits and already into the first phase of exercising, although he will still be out for the remainder of this season.
"Nathan will be able to bend the joint a little more each week.