Nicky Wroe has been ruled out for six to eight weeks ahead of Shrewsbury's home clash against Northampton.
The influential midfielder has broken two metatarsals in a foot having been on the receiving end of a nasty challenge from Bradford's David Syers which merited a red card in Town's 3-1 New Year's Eve defeat.
Wroe's absence is likely to see Everton loanee James Wallace promoted from the bench by manager Graham Turner, who also has Aaron Wildig at his disposal.
Turner will evaluate the immediate options at his disposal before deciding whether he needs to bolster his midfield ranks now the January window has opened.
With the demands of two games in three days, the Shrews boss had promised to make changes even before the disappointing loss at Valley Parade, and the likes of Marvin Morgan, Terry Gornell, Lionel Ainsworth and Jermaine Grandison will all be pushing for a starting berth against the Cobblers.
Town will come up against a Northampton side desperate for revenge following their 7-2 mauling at Sixfields in November although Turner would love a repeat performance as he looks to get his side's promotion charge back on track.