Cliftonville's worst fears have been realised after it was confirmed that Stephen Garrett has suffered a season-ending knee injury.
The winger lasted only 16 minutes of Tuesday night's County Antrim Shield semi-final against Ards and scans have confirmed that Garrett has a cruciate ligament injury.
"That's his season over, it takes six to nine months to return from that and we are gutted for him," said Cliftonville boss Tommy Breslin.
"Stephen had worked so hard to get back after an ankle injury at the start of the season and then it flared up again.
"He's been back in the team over the last couple of weeks and scored a couple of important goals at Glenavon, which showed his importance to the team and we are all gutted that this has happened to him."
The Reds are also without Chris Curran, who is missing with a persistent groin injury, but Breslin has plenty of cover in the wide right area and he will decide whether to use Tomas Cosgrove, Martin Murray, James Knowles, Tiarnan Mulvenna or Jay Donnelly in that position when the Premiership leaders travel to Coleraine this afternoon.
Donnelly - the younger brother of Rory, whose goals earned him a move from Cliftonville to Swansea City three years ago - burst onto the scene earlier in the season and showed his finishing prowess with a goal in last Saturday's 7-0 win over Ballymena United.
"Jay was knocking on the door at the start of the season and when he has played he's done well," said Breslin.
"We have given him his chance over the last couple of weeks and he has taken it.
"It was pleasing to see him score the goal against Ballymena last week and we believe that he is a talent."