Grimsby defender Robbie Stockdale is not expected to be fit again until the new year.
The 30-year-old has been sidelined for almost three months - his last appearance for Town was in a 2-0 win at Torquay on September 19 - struggling to recover from a hernia operation.
Mariners manager Neil Woods said: "Robbie's injury has been frustrating for us all. It's been a lot longer than we first thought after what is normally nowadays a relatively straight-forward operation. I doubt he will be ready until the new year now which is a blow to him and to us. He certainly gives me more options."
He added: "It's been a couple of months now since that treatment and Robbie is still very restricted in what he can do and is sore. He is still not ready and having injections to help him along.
"The only plus point is that when he is okay to start training fully again then it won't be long at all before he can play because his general fitness remains good."
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