Hibernian and Scotland Under-21 defender Ryan Porteous has been ruled out for the rest of the season following knee surgery.
The 19-year-old played 18 games this season before going off with the recurrence of a knee problem against Motherwell earlier this month.
Porteous, who hopes to be fit for pre-season, told the club’s website: “It obviously came as a blow to hear the news that I would miss the rest of the season but I’m trying to look at the positives.
“This season has exceeded my expectations. I just hoped to be challenging for a place in and around the first team, so to have played so many games at my age has been a real bonus.
“I like to think I’ve earned it through hard work but there aren’t many clubs that would put faith in a young centre-back.
“That’s not the case here. You only have to look at the other Academy boys who have had their chance recently.
“On top of that I was able to make the breakthrough into the Scotland Under-21 squad, so it’s been a memorable few months for me.”
The centre-back added: “This is just a temporary setback that I’ll get my head around.
“What matters now is that I follow all the advice from the staff, get stuck into the rehab and hopefully make sure I’m good to go for pre-season.
“It also gives me the chance to work on a few other areas of my game, whether it’s in the gym or through some analysis.
“I always want to play but the club’s right to put my long-term health first and get this taken care of.”