Morecambe head to Exeter City on Saturday reeling from the injury news concerning A-Jay Leitch-Smith.
The Shrimps’ top scorer, who is out of contract in the summer, could potentially miss the rest of the season with a hamstring injury sustained against Crewe Alexandra last weekend.
Leitch-Smith came off injured in the first half and scans show the problem is worse than first feared.
He has sustained a tear and a specialist will determine whether the 28-year-old requires an operation.
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley said: “It is devastating news for us but more so for the player himself.
“He’s done well for us this season. He’s a good lad who is well respected around the dressing room and a good player too, so to lose him now at this stage of the season is hard to take because he has been one of our main players.
“It is a devastating blow but we will do right by him and get him back fitter and stronger than before.”
Leitch-Smith’s injury, coupled with the departure of Jason Oswell to Wrexham, intensifies the Shrimps’ need for a striker.
They head to Exeter, six points clear of the relegation places and looking to atone for August’s home loss against tomorrow’s hosts.
One player who seems set to feature is defender Ritchie Sutton, who penned an 18-month deal at the Globe Arena in midweek.
Bentley said of the 32-year-old: “Ritchie is a good experienced player at the level and although he is a centre-half, he has played a lot of games at right-back as well.
“He’s an out-and-out honest, solid defender who enjoys defending and will certainly add to our squad. We are pleased to have him on board and looking forward to working with him.”