Nigel Clough has revealed the latest reason for Burton Albion forward Joe Mason's injury layoff is because of an abscess on his appendix.
It is the latest setback in a loan spell beset by rotten luck for the on-loan striker, who made an instant impact when he signed on a temporary basis from Wolverhampton Wanderers in August.
A debut equaliser with his first touch against Sheffield Wednesday indicated he may have a big part to play in the Brewers' season - but the 26-year-old has been unable to find the back of the net since and has made only three appearances in the last 11 matches.
A combination of injuries and illness - with the striker having recently been in hospital with his latest problem - has had a huge impact on the role Mason has been able to have, with his current loan deal at the Pirelli Stadium set to expire next month.
"We think the latest diagnosis is a problem with his appendix," Clough said of Mason's absence, with his last appearance coming in November's 2-0 loss to Sunderland after he recovered from a lengthy time out with a back injury.
"He's got an abscess on his appendix, so we'll wait for the results on that to see what they're going to do - whether they’re going to operate.
"If they're going to operate then that would take him out for four weeks.
"But I think he's on antibiotics at the moment and if that works, then it'll settle it down within a week or so.
"So we're still waiting to hear.
"He's had such bad luck with injuries and illness since he joined us. It's been incredible, it's been one thing after another.
"From his back seizing up to being in hospital now, it's been a very poor run of luck for him and for us."
One striker who could be back in the Brewers squad for the visit to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday (3pm) is Marvin Sordell.
The former Bolton man - who earned himself a call-up to Team GB's football squad for the 2012 Olympic Games while at the Macron Stadium - missed Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Preston because of a groin injury.
"Marvin's got a chance for the weekend, playing against his old club, so he'll be keen to get out there against them," he added.
"He's got a chance - he's not done much this week so far, but nobody has because of the weather really.
"So he's not too far behind in terms of preparation, and everybody else should be in with a chance."
The only other minor injury concern was that of Stephen Bywater - who missed training on Wednesday due to illness.
He is likely to be fine for the Bolton clash, though, after a string of impressive recent displays.
"Stephen Bywater's got one of these bugs that’s gone round, it'll be a two or three day thing," Clough continued.
"You know with him, he's first in in the mornings, he travels in and he's first in preparing for training and he's playing as well as anybody at the moment.
"He was excellent again on Saturday, so we hope he'll be OK and ready to face Bolton."