Joey Barton fears the injury suffered by Fleetwood Town's Harrison Biggins in the draw with Coventry City on Tuesday could end the midfielder's season.
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The 23-year-old was forced off with a facial injury just 12 minutes into the goalless League One encounter at Highbury, and head coach Barton's feeling after the game was that he had fractured a cheekbone.
It was only Biggins' 10th league appearance of 2019-20 and a rare start in a season of limited opportunities, and Barton admitted to being "devastated" for the player.
He said: "It looks like a fractured cheekbone, which probably puts him out for the rest of the season.
"It's horrendous news for him because he's waited so long for an opportunity.
"He is one of the best professionals I've seen. He does everything right.
"He's patient and he's asked me to go out on loan but I've said, 'Stay in because there will be games for you.'
"He got a start tonight but goes in for a tackle, slips and hits the kid's knee and shatters his cheekbone. Hopefully that's as bad as it is but it could be worse."
Barton added that the injury increases his need to boost Town's ranks in the final two days of the transfer window.
He added: "It means we'll have to bring in another body on top of what we thought we were already short of.
"So we have work to do before Saturday's game (at home to Doncaster Rovers) and I'm convinced if we get it right in the market we can still get to Wembley (for the play-off final). I think we're that good.
"Coventry are one of the best sides in the division but I think we've shown over two games that we are in the same category as them.
"We just haven't been as ruthless and got as many good results, but on the balance of the two games I think we're the better side."