Shrewsbury Town defender Jermaine Grandison has been told to rest after visiting a leading hip specialist in London.
Manager Graham Turner said the best case scenario is that Town would probably be without Grandison for up to six weeks.
The former Coventry man has played through the pain barrier in recent weeks but was forced to come off injured at half time at Swindon on Saturday.
He was up bright and early yesterday to head to the capital with physio Chris Skitt to have the extent of the hip complaint examined by a Harley Street specialist.
"He went down to Harley Street despite the weather," said GT. "Him and Chris Skitt did quite well to get down there and get back. The diagnosis at the moment is he should have two weeks rest away from training and if it settles down they will inject it.
"But give it two weeks rest and see how it goes from there.
"The worst case scenario is he'll need surgery which could keep him out for months rather than weeks, but we're hoping that it will settle down with some rest. We've got the best people looking at him so it remains to be seen how long he's going to be out."
Asked whether the news could have been worst, the manager replied: "At this stage we need him in the side so it can't be worse in that respect. It's a possibility it will be a month and then a return to training and it's then probably another two weeks at least getting him fully match fit.
"I think the best case scenario we're looking at is probably six weeks before he's fit but it's a problem he's got to manage now and we'll see over the next few weeks. I think that will be crucial."
GT added Grandison had been enjoying an impressive season at the back and had shone since switching from right back to centre half.
"He's had a good season and he's played well," he said. "He's moved to probably his favourite position and while he's enjoyed going up and down the right hand side and doing all his tricks I think centre half if always going to be his best position.
"With Darren Jones we had just had a spell before Saturday of keeping clean sheets. Our defensive record has been quite good this season with him in there so it is a blow."
GT said he was now considering bringing in another defender in Grandison's enforced absence: "If we lose somebody of Jermaine's stature there's thoughts that we need to bring somebody in," he added.