Johannesburg - Chippa United coach Kosta Papic confirmed on Thursday Joseph Molangoane will be out of action for three months after breaking his leg.
On the end of a jarring challenge during Tuesday's 3-0 loss to Maritzburg United, Molangoane was stretchered off after only 20 minutes of play.
Papic had entertained high hopes for the 26-year-old winger, who was a product of Orlando Pirates' academy and had played for Platinum Stars and been on loan to AmaZulu.
Although Chippa's loss to Maritzburg spelt a third consecutive league defeat for the Port Elizabeth-based club, Papic said Molangoane's injury was an even greater blow as he was unlikely to return to full fitness much before the December break.
"The price of that match was not the three points, it was the loss of Molangoane for 12 weeks," Papic said.
"He was showing huge promise for us. I believed he could do a job for us and that he was ready to make a big impact in the PSL, so it's a big blow for us."
Despite having lost three of their four league games this season, Chippa had been playing an exciting brand of attacking football, Papic said.
"We have been creating chances, so that's good. But if you create 10 chances in a game and don't bury them, your opponents grow in confidence. They get one chance and they score. That's football.
"We have to make sure we are more clinical in front of goal."