Ryan Yates has been forced to undergo knee surgery and is facing up to seven weeks on the sidelines at Nottingham Forest.
Untimely would probably be the best way of describing that setback.
The 21-year-old is now running the risk of becoming a forgotten man at the City Ground.
He got plenty of credit in the bank last season, but that was under Martin O’Neill.
Sabri Lamouchi is now calling the shots, and he has been given only a brief glimpse of Yates.
“He will be back with us after, I hope, less than six or seven weeks. No more.
“But it was important for us to do this.”
Forest have acted now in an effort to cure Yates of a long-standing ailment.
Lamouchi added in the Post: “It is a problem he has had for a long time. In the first week of training, he was feeling some pain.
“So we allowed him to rest for a few days; to have a few days off. But we had to take the decision – and I think it was the right one for him.
“Ryan is a strong player and we need players like him back available as soon as possible.”
Words of encouragement from the manager, but could Yates end up out of sight and out of mind?
Being stuck on the treatment table is doing his cause no favours.
If a product of Forest’s academy system is to be out of action for the best part of two months, then that takes us through to September.
Yates figured in the Reds’ opening two games of pre-season, against Alfreton and Dundee.
He will not be seen again before competitive action resumes on August 3 against West Brom.
No more opportunities to impress Lamouchi and stake a claim for a starting berth.
No chance to build up the match sharpness which is imperative at this time of year.
Others are set to edge ahead of him in the pecking order.
If we assume that Yates will be back in contention from early September, then he is set to miss four more friendlies.
There will then be six Championship fixtures and a League Cup outing against Fleetwood taken in before the opening month of the campaign comes to a close.
The second tier then shuts down for the international break.
Which takes us through to a meeting with Swansea on September 14.
Forest will hope to be flying by then.
With a settled system and side established.
If that is the case, with additions already made in the middle of the park and Ben Watson seemingly back in favour, then will Yates find himself frozen out?
Others – such as Claudio Yacob and Adlene Guedioura – are in a similar situation, but they are at least fit and healthy.
Yates may require somebody else to suffer a setback before he gets a look in, or for Forest to still be in a period of experimentation by the time his knee is in full working order again.