Rangers expect to be without Francisco Sandaza for the rest of the year following confirmation he has suffered a broken cheekbone.
The striker was forced out of Wednesday night's Scottish Communities League Cup victory over Motherwell after a clash of heads with Shaun Hutchinson and was taken from Ibrox to hospital for an X-ray.
The Spaniard faces a minimum of eight weeks on the sidelines, although the Glasgow giants fear he will be out of action for the remainder of 2012.
Sandaza was kept in hospital overnight before undergoing an operation on Thursday morning to have a plate inserted in his head as part of the procedure.
A story on the club's website confirmed: "Sandaza now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines and the minimum amount of time such injuries keep a player out is eight weeks.
"More realistically, however, it is anticipated he will miss the rest of the calendar year as he sets out on the long road to recovery."
The former St Johnstone and Dundee United striker joined Rangers in the summer and had yet to fully make an impact, having struggled with his fitness earlier in the season.
This latest injury setback is a further blow for manager Ally McCoist, whose attacking options are already limited.
Fellow new recruit David Templeton is out for a number of weeks with ankle ligament damage, while Andy Little is still recovering from a foot problem.
- Francisco Sandaza
- Shaun Hutchinson