Chesterfield have been hit by some bad news from the treatment room, with Dan Jones out for the rest of the season.
The left-sided player was stretchered off with a fractured ankle against Swindon in November, but another problem has surfaced, meaning a longer spell out of action.
The club’s head of sports science and medicine Roger Wylde said a secondary issue will mean Jones has to wear a protective boot for six weeks, and then begin rehab all over again.
“Dan has two screws in his ankle and the injury he sustained in late November has now healed, with the screws still in place,” said Wylde.
“He progressed through the training with no real problems, until he got back to playing with the reserves and he started sprinting. He found he was getting some pain between the metatarsals in his foot, which in medical terms is a million miles away from his injured ankle.
“We investigated the problem and found the contributing factors. One was that the one of the screws was causing irritation that was then effecting the movement of the foot.
“To all intents and purposes the ankle is now healed, but now Dan is back in a boot for six weeks while he has the problematic screw removed from his ankle.
“Then he will restart his rehab again as we once again push towards a full return to fitness.”
Jones has played 22 times for Chesterfield this season, and it was hoped his return would bolster Danny Wilson’s options on the left flank.
His prolonged absence will be somewhat soothed by the news this week that Cardiff City’s Declan John is to remain with at the Proact until the end of the season.
Jones joined the Spireites in 2014 after being sacked by previous club Port Vale over a training ground bust up.
He made 40 appearances last season.