Tom Bradshaw has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury.
The Millwall striker – a club record signing from Barnsley at the end of August – missed Saturday’s 4-3 defeat against Norwich City.
And Lions boss Neil Harris confirmed in his post-match press conference that Bradshaw sustained ligament damage in the 2-0 loss at Brentford. It was not until Sunday night that any problems were flagged.
“Tom Bradshaw has done his knee ligaments and will be out for the season,” said Harris.
“That puts perspective into that [a defeat at Norwich].
“Tom is a big loss for us. We’ll work tirelessly with him to get him back in training and welcome him back as soon as we can, hopefully pre-season.
“It is one of those crazy modern-day injuries. He’d only been on a couple of minutes in the game, we did a debrief and he did the fitness exercise after. We didn’t know until Sunday that there might be a problem.
“A scan on Monday showed he had a ligament tear. He will have an operation on Tuesday. and then it is a long recovery after that.
“You could have knocked me over with a feather on Monday. Tom was convinced it was nothing and he’d be back training on Thursday. The physio department had their concerns but Tom was convinced he would be on the training pitch on Thursday in preparation to be involved today.
“I get the phone call completely out of the blue what has happened. It would have been nice to get a positive result for him, but it wasn’t to be.”
Harris reckoned at least three of Norwich’s goals were avoidable.
The Lions are not back in action until November 24 due to the international break – a huge game against 23rd-placed Bolton Wanderers.
Their 4-3 reverse at Carrow Road sees them only outside the Championship drop zone on goal difference.
Harris said: “What does the [next] two weeks hold for us? Hard work on the training pitch. Going into the last international break we had a disappointing run of results and worked extremely hard to come out firing – we picked up 10 points from five games.
“It’s clear to see on the back of today…defensive duties definitely [need] improving.
“We are what we are at this level. We are where we probably should be, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to be better. The group want to be better. We were better last year defensively than we have been so far.
“We have to get back to that mindset of not conceding goals and certainly not conceding poor goals.
“If they are going to put in the second goal from 22 yards into the bottom corner, no problem with that – that’s the level we’re playing at.
“But the three other goals we conceded were extremely poor.”