Preston North End manager Simon Grayson expects to be without Jermaine Beckford for a ‘number of months’ after the striker underwent knee surgery.
Beckford had an operation last week to repair cartilage damage and Grayson says it will be a long recovery.
Grayson said: “Jermaine has had the operation and will be out for a number of months unfortunately.
“That was something which we were mindful might happen.
“It is negative news but we had enough positives with the two lads Eoin Doyle and Stevie May who we brought in last week.
“Jermaine’s injury was the reason we did those deals.
“These things happen in football, we have seen other teams lose top players with injuries.
“I’m not going to put an exact timescale on how long Jermaine is going to be out but it will be a few months rather than weeks.
“The surgeon went in and did his work, it was cartilage repair.”
Beckford initially suffered the injury in the pre-season friendly against Motherwell in July.
Attempts were made to manage him back to fitness without the need for surgery, with Beckford having an injection in the knee to help it settle down.
He returned to the squad to make appearances as a substitute against Ipswich and Watford last month but the injury flared up before the Hull game.
Elsewhere on the casualty front, Grayson reported that the injuries picked up by Jordan Hugill and Kyel Reid in Monday night’s Lancashire Senior Cup defeat to Everton were not as serious as perhaps first feared.
However, the pair will miss Saturday’s game against Derby County at Deepdale.
Said Grayson: “Both injuries have settled down and are not as serious as one or two people might have thought when they happened on Monday night.
“They will both miss the weekend but we will see how they are after that.
“It’s disappointing for Jordan who has something of a stop-start season and Kyel is the same.
“But the good news is that neither injury is as bad as feared.”