Aberdeen defender Mark Reynolds aims to be back in action within a month from a hernia problem.
The centre-back is set to undergo surgery later this week on a hernia which was aggravated on Hamilton’s artificial pitch in a 1-0 loss.
Reynolds had hoped to last until the end of the season before facing surgery.
He said: “The injury is very frustrating.
“I have had it since the turn of the year, probably the Hearts game (1-0 win at Tynecastle, January 30) was when I first felt it.
“Since then the physios have been keeping on top of it and managing the situation.
“I was hoping it would hold off and we could get something done at the end of the season.
“But that was not the case so we had to try to fix it so I can get back as soon as possible after it went completely in the Hamilton game.
“I will probably be out for a month to allow it to get back to where it needs to be.”
Reynolds had started 12 straight games having re-established himself in the starting line up ahead of summer signing Anthony O’Connor.
However, he was taken off at half-time having aggravated the on-going hernia problem at Hamilton.
He said: “I am not sure if the artificial pitch at Hamilton played a part in worsening things.
“It certainly had a role in the incident as the ball never kicked up so I had to generate all the power, which then caused me to overstretch it.
“It was 37 minutes into the game and I was heading the ball back to Joe (Lewis) and I felt everything go.
“You could argue that on a normal park that situation would never have arisen, but it was maybe one of those things.
“Apart from my shoulder injury last year, this is only the second injury of note during my time here.
“Before that it had just been broken noses, split lips and missing the odd game.
“But we cannot change what has happened so I have to get my mind right and prepare myself for time out.”
Reynolds reached the 200 mark in appearances for the Dons just before the turn of the year in a 3-1 win at Motherwell.
He is now on 211 Dons appearances.
Reynolds said: “The manager has built a squad where there is a group of players like myself who have been here for a while.
“Niall McGinn and myself hit 200 games at the same time.
“There are a few boys around the 100 mark and big Andy is now into the To 10.
“That speaks volumes for the consistency we have had and the fact that the club have managed to keep players here.”
Dons boss Derek McInnes confirmed Reynolds is the only injury absentee for Saturday’s clash against Hearts.
McInnes said: “Mark will go in for his operation and he is the only one out. Andy Considine returns from suspension.”