Dover goalkeeper Andy Rafferty is facing up to six weeks out after having emergency surgery to remove his appendix on Sunday.
He had the operation less than 24 hours after being on the bench for the Vanarama National League clash with Chester at Crabble.
Rafferty, who joined Whites from Hartlepool last season, started feeling ill on the way home from training last Thursday but had no idea it would lead to him to ending up on an operating table.
He said: “I just didn’t feel myself and then I had a real restless night.
“I started vomiting on Friday morning and had real bad pains in my stomach but thought it was just a bout of gastroenteritis as I’ve had that before.
“I carried on as normal on that assumption and turned up for Saturday’s photocall and game against Chester.
“The warm-up was hard and hurt but I still didn’t think any more about it.
“It was when I got home that my wife, who is a nurse, said I looked a shade of grey – I don’t look well in the photo (above), either.
“Things didn’t improve overnight, so she took me to the hospital first thing in the morning and they said I needed surgery straight away, so I was rushed in.
“All went well and all I can do now is rest.”
But how is Rafferty going to spend his time recuperating, particularly the first two weeks when all he can do is rest? He has that sorted.
He said: “Luckily the wife and I recently bought a DVD collection from the television series Game Of Thrones.
“I am sure it will now get a massive workout.”
With Rafferty out of action, that leaves Mitch Walker, who has played in all the league games so far, and goalkeeping coach Lee Hook, who was on the bench at Aldershot on Tuesday night, as boss Chris Kinnear’s options.