Steven Gerrard fears Filip Helander could be out for at least another month after the Rangers defender was hit with a rare foot injury.
The centre-back has not featured since limping off against Celtic in the Betfred Cup final and Gerrard confirmed he will not see action again this year.
The big Swede is currently hobbling about with a protective boot on and it could be another four weeks before he is allowed to remove it.
Gerrard, speaking ahead of Friday night’s trip to Easter Road, said: “Filip won’t be seen again until after the winter break.
“It’s a foot issue. I’m not a doctor but I’m told it’s a unique injury.
“The doctor told me that in his 25 year experience in medicine had only seen this issue on a couple of occasions.
“It’s a difficult one to put an exact date on the time he will be out.
“But he is going to be in a boot for four to six weeks. That’s the starter park so let’s go from there and see how it progresses.
“I think he’s been in the boot for a couple of weeks now so he will be in a boot until after Christmas and then it will be a case of building the fitness back up and whether there is a reaction from the injury because it’s quite a rare one.”
Gerrard will be without top-scorer Alfredo Morelos for the Leith clash after the striker’s Fir Park dismissal and the Ibrox boss revealed the striker has struggled to hide his disappointment at being punished for aiming an inflammatory gesture at the Well support.
Jermain Defoe will instead lead the line against Jack Ross’ team but Gerrard has faith that the veteran England striker can fire Gers to victory at Easter Road.
He said: “I think Alfredo has apologised to his team-mates after the Motherwell situation, but that’s not important now.
“We have to focus on what’s available to us. Alfredo has been different. You can see in his face he’s disappointed not to be available. He’s not a man who hides that disappointment very well.
“You can see even in today’s session that he’s gutted.
“But we believe we have got the squad capable of coping without any individual.
“It’s OK me sitting here saying that, the players have got to go prove that.
“Jermain’s name in the game speaks for itself. We’ll pick a team that’s capable of getting the result we want from Hibs if they perform to their best.”