INJURY victim Clark Robertson's Rotherham United season hinges on a date with a leading foot specialist today.
The centre-half, who has been out of action since December, was seeing an expert in Nottingham in a bid to speed up his recovery from a metatarsal problem.
Manager Paul Warne, who had initially hoped Robertson would return for the Millers' League One promotion run-in, now fears that the defender's 2019/20 campaign is over.
"I think it's unlikely we'll see him playing again this season, the boss said. "It's an awful thing to say. I've had the conversation with him."
Unlucky Robertson, a stand-out performer for Rotherham in the Championship last term, underwent a New Year groin operation and then damaged his foot while running during his rehabilitation.
He has already seen one specialist and now the club are seeking a second opinion about the most effective way forward.
"It's like he's got a break in his foot but it isn't a break. The symptoms are the same," said Warne whose table-topping side travel to second-placed Coventry City tomorrow.
"It's the second time he's had it in that foot in his career. It needs for something to happen.
"If he rests it and doesn't play again this season and comes back in good shape, then great. But if after three days he gets the same pain again, then where do we go? We can't have another four months of him being out.
"From a manager's point of view, I don't want the grey area of not knowing. I want something to happen, as does the player."
Robertson, aged 26, has been restricted to 22 appearances since scoring the winning goal at AFC Wimbledon on August 3 opening day and will see one of the top country's top experts.
"You've got to see the best people," Warne said. "It costs more money but there's a reason why it costs more money: you get to see the best people and hopefully get the problem addressed.
Time isn't on Robertson's side even if a cure is found at today's meeting.
"If the issue settled down, he's still probably six weeks away from being pain-free," Warne said. "You're then virtually at the end of April.
"For him to then get fit and in the team before the end of the season is - no disrespect - highly unlikely.
"I don't think he will play again this season. I hope he does, though, because he'd then go into the close season in a much better spirit."
Fortunately, the Millers have plenty of depth at centre-half. First-choice duo Michael Ihiekwe and Richard Wood are both in fine form, new signing Curtis Tilt is now ready to play after a minor glute injury while full-backs Adam Thompson and Joe Mattock and midfielder Matt Crooks can all cover there.