Simon King has been ruled out until at least the New Year after undergoing another operation on his injured ankle.
The 26-year-old (pictured), who was hurt in the pre-season friendly at Bromley, is facing another spell in plaster, after what was initially thought to be a minor problem turned out to be more serious.
It is a major blow for manager Mark Stimson who had been keen to see King, last season’s player of the year, return to action as quickly as possible.
Stimson said: "Simon is very down at the moment. The ankle was in a bit of a mess, so the surgeon had to tidy it up, and he now has six weeks of non-weight bearing.
"He won’t be in great physical shape after that, and then he has to go through rehab, so he won’t be back this year."
Meanwhile, Stuart Lewis could start light training soon. The midfielder, who was injured in a friendly at Bishop’s Stortford the week before King, has had another injection to aid his recovery, and is expected to begin jogging this week.