Barnsley have been rocked by the news that star striker Sam Winnall will be sidelined for four weeks.
Former Scunthorpe hit-man Winnall has sparkled this season with nine goals and formed a productive partnership up front with Manchester City loan marksman Devante Cole.
And with Cole currently bed-ridden with flu, Reds’ boss Danny Wilson knows he will have to shuffle his pack for a busy Christmas period.
“We’ve had the results back of his scan and he’s [Sam] going to be out for about four weeks,” revealed Wilson.
“It’s the best case scenario we could have hoped for to be honest, but we don’t know whether it’s going to be four weeks yet.
“However, that’s the diagnosis. But with these injuries it could be longer and it could be quicker, so we’ll have to wait and see.”
And Wilson also admitted he is expecting a real battle when his side take on Chester in their FA Cup second round replay showdown.
The frustrated Reds were held to a disappointing goalless draw at home to the Conference side on Sunday at Oakwell.
And now the two sides will meet again, this time at the Deva Stadium, broadcast live on BT Sport, on Tuesday 16 December (7.45pm kick-off).
“It will be great atmosphere at their place,” predicted Wilson. “It’s a compact and tight ground and I’m sure with our fans going down there, well it be a fantastic atmosphere.
“We know we’re going to the Deva and, although we’ve not beaten them at the first attempt, at least we know what’s in front of us now.
“If we’re not at our best then we could go out of the cup.”
Wilson admitted his side were “very lucky” to have avoided an upset to the minnows – and has warned his side about complacency ahead of the clash.
And he wants his misfiring team to start taking their chances having not won in their last four matches.
“At this moment in time we just don’t seem to be taking the opportunities,” said Wilson.
“But we’ve just got to keep persevering and make sure we keep creating the chances to give us those opportunities.”
Should Barnsley beat Chester in the replay, they will be at home to Championship high-fliers Middlesbrough in the third round next month.