Chico Flores yesteday travelled to Dubai for Swansea's pre-Capital One Cup final training camp knowing he is "very unlikely" to play any part in the Wembley showpiece after rupturing ankle ligaments.
Saturday's comprehensive 4-1 win over QPR should have sent Swansea to warmer climes in high spirits. But manager Michael Laudrup's delight at the performance will be tempered by the loss of one of his first-choice centre-halves.
Flores, who has formed an excellent defensive partnership with Ashley Williams since arriving from Genoa in the summer, was taken off on a stretcher after just 34 minutes. The Spaniard went down after stooping to make a low defensive header and required prolonged treatment. He was taken straight to hospital where a scan revealed the full extent of the damage.
"It's difficult at the moment to assess how long he will be out because we need the swelling to go down first," said Swansea's head physio Kate Rees. "But he is very unlikely to make the final."
The 25-year-old's injury hands a chance to Kyle Bartley or club captain Garry Monk, who will now battle it out for a place in the starting XI at Wembley on 24 February.