Aberdeen striker Sam Cosgrove will miss up to ten weeks of action with a knee injury.
Cosgrove tore knee cartilage during last Saturday’s pre-season clash with Hibernian.
Back-up striker Curtis Main has also been ruled out of Saturday’s Scottish Premiership curtain raiser against Rangers with a thigh strain.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes said: “Sam’s injury is not helped by the fact that Curtis Main is out for Saturday as well.
“He’s got a thigh strain so Curtis and Sam are both out. Apart from that everything else is brilliant.”
Cosgrove – who scored 23 times last term – turned down a £2m move to French second-tier club Guingamp earlier this summer.
McInnes will be denied his services in any case until early October at best, but he admits he is “delighted” the striker is not looking at a longer lay-off.
“It seems a bit silly saying you’re delighted at losing your top scorer for two to three months but it could have been an awful lot worse,” he said.
“It’s only going to be eight to ten weeks – which is still long enough, especially on the eve of the new season.
“He doesn’t need surgery as it stands but he is non-weight bearing for two weeks, so he’ll be on crutches while that cartilage heals.
“We’ll probably re-image it again in a few weeks’ time and hopefully the healing process is going. But ultimately we’re going to be without our top scorer for a period of time.”