Bristol City manager Lee Johnson has confirmed that centre-back Tomas Kalas is set to miss four to six weeks with a hamstring injury.
The defender was stretchered off after suffering the injury in the first half of the Robin’s 3-1 victory against Hull City on Saturday.
City broke their club transfer record to sign the Czech defender permanently in the summer after he had impressed on loan last season.
Kalas has been a key player for Johnson’s side so far this season, starting every single Championship game so far.
Speaking to the Bristol Post, the City boss explained the extent of the injury.
He said: “Tomas had a scan yesterday, and it is a grade two [tear] of the hamstring. Listen, he’s a strong lad but it’s probably going to be somewhere between four and six weeks.
“It feels like we’ve got some key players out with Bailey (Wright) and Korey (Smith) and particularly Kalas in centre half but that’s what the squads for we have to hold a big squad in the Championship and it won’t just be us to have injuries.
“We seem to have had them early but at the same time we’re picking up results that shows the depth of the squad.”
Johnson did have some good news to report and indicated that midfielder Adam Nagy was close to a return.
He said: “Adam’s looking a lot better now which I’m happy with, he’s not so ginger in the way he’s moving, the ankle’s not so bad and obviously he’s been called up by the Hungary national side as well so a look at him tomorrow on the grass but it may well be a little bit too soon this Saturday.
“But the plan is to have him ready for Hungary’s second game and then back for Stoke at home.”
City face a visit from 17th Middlesbrough on Saturday and will be looking for their fourth consecutive win.
Kalas’ injury is a huge blow and the latest in a line of setbacks at that position for the club.
Star defender Adam Webster left late in the transfer window, then Bailey Wright picked up an injury and now Kalas has followed suit.
Nathan Baker and Taylor Moore have been in great form so far this season but outside them the only remaining options are the untested Aden Baldwin and new arrival Ashley Williams.
Referring to the five at the back formation they have been playing recently, Johnson suggested that he thinks his side has “got the shape which has done so well”, so it seems either Baldwin or Williams will have to play as the third centre-back moving forward.