Bamber Bridge manager Neil Reynolds has conceded he could be without talismanic forward Alistair Waddecar for the rest of the season.
The winger has not kicked a ball since limping out of the August Bank Holiday clash against Lancaster City at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium with a mystery knee problem.
It was hoped that the injury would get better with rest, but Waddecar’s condition has shown no sign of improvement.
He has recently undergone a scan on his knee and it has been determined that he will require surgery.
“Ally will need an operation which he will have in the New Year,” said Reynolds.
“By time he starts to recover from that, it will take us into February and then he will start his rehabilitation programme.
“We are probably looking at playing the rest of the season without Ally Waddecar.”
Meanwhile, Reynolds takes his men to Colne this evening as they look to bounce back from the heavy defeat to Prescot Cables on Boxing Day at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.
Brig were well beaten 5-1 – the first defeat since Reynolds took charge.
He will demand a major improvement against Colne, who have enjoyed a decent first few months in the division after winning promotion as champions from the North West Counties’ Premier Division last season.
They are in a similar mid-table position to Brig and came out on top 2-1 when the two teams met in the opening week of the season at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.
Reynolds is on good terms with Reds manager Steve Cunningham, who penned a new two-year contract at Holt House last week.
“Colne have done really well after winning the North West Counties last season,” said Reynolds.
“I know Steve Cunningham well and I’m really happy for him and his team with what they have done this season.
“They came to us earlier in the season and beat us, so we know it’s going to be a very difficult game. They have just signed a couple of new centre forwards in Ric Seear from Squires Gate and Oli Wood from Kendal Town.
“Then we have got Lancaster City the following Monday, who are obviously going well and are the team to beat in the division.”