St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson revealed Jonah Ayunga is out for the rest of the season with a cruciate ligament injury.
The 25-year-old Buddies striker sustained the injury after coming on as a substitute in the 1-0 cinch Premiership win over Motherwell last Saturday, and scans confirmed he will be out for at least six months.
Ahead of the home game against Hibernian on Saturday, Robinson said: “Two days ago we got bad news on Jonah. He has done his cruciate ligament so he is going to be a minimum of six months.
“He will have the best care here with Gerry Docherty and the medical team. We are planning when he will have that surgery now and we will get him back fitter and stronger than ever.
“It is a huge blow for us. He was a big part of what we’d done earlier in the season.
“He was excellent when he came on against Motherwell so it is a big blow for the boy himself.
“There was a lot of interest in him from down south as well but he is a strong boy, a strong character and he will come back stronger.
“He will spend a little bit of time with his family, we will start his rehab and as I say, he will get the best rehab available with Gerry Docherty.”
The Buddies’ 3-1 win over managerless Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Wednesday night, thanks to a double from striker Curtis Main and defender Declan Gallagher’s first Saints goal, left the Paisley side in fourth place in the table, six points behind Hearts with a game in hand.
Former Aberdeen manager and captain Willie Miller, nowadays a pundit, branded both scorers – who are ex-Dons players – “rejects” but Robinson kept his counsel.
He said: “I have no thoughts on that. I didn’t see the comments, I am not too bothered by what other people say.
“I have been told about them but I am sure that is not the view of Aberdeen Football Club so I don’t think there is any need for me to comment on it.
“Declan and Curtis are two of the most confident guys around, I am sure they will survive. I don’t think they will be too concerned with anybody’s comments.”
Despite their healthy league position, Robinson will not look any further than Hibs.
He said: “We have played them twice and know what we are going to come up against and it is about continuing the performances and level of application and quality that we showed against Aberdeen.
“We just solely concentrate on us, get as many points as we can and see where that takes us. We won’t get too carried away.”