Lloyd Isgrove is facing a lengthy spell out of action as Wanderers’ injury crisis continues to grip.
Isgrove – who has impressed this season as a stand-in right-back or in his usual more advanced role – limped out of Tuesday night’s win over Doncaster Rovers with what has been confirmed a grade-three hamstring tear.
And with top scorer Dapo Afolayan suspended for Saturday’s visit of Cheltenham Town, Ian Evatt’s squad will be down to 12 fit and available senior outfield players – presuming defender Alex Baptiste is given the all-clear to return.
“It could potentially mean surgery but it certainly means 10-12 weeks out on the sidelines (for Lloyd), so not ideal,” said the Bolton boss.
“We haven’t really had one-two week injuries. They’ve all been significant and to lads who would affect the first team.
“The numbers are dwindling fast but we have to do what we can and do the best we can.
“It’s going to be a really, really challenging time until January. As a football club we all have to muck in and stick together and do the best we can.
“We’re probably going to have to put round pegs in square holes but the players will get on with it and do the best they can.
“We’ll coach them as best we can and hopefully that’s good enough to get us some results.
“We have to find a way. We are decimated by injuries but we can still win football matches by finding a way and we have to do that again on Saturday.”
Baptiste missed the 3-0 victory over Doncaster with a tweaked knee ligament as Evatt's men made it back-to-back home league wins to move back into the top half of League One.
But he will hopefully return against the Robins to provide a further defensive option, with George Johnston likely to be earmarked for an acting midfield role.
“Alex Baptiste has come through training okay this morning, so we have our fingers crossed with him that there’s no reaction,” added Evatt.
Meanwhile, Wanderers – who are not currently able to recall any of their loaned out players – are expected to find out on Friday whether midfielder MJ Williams is likely to require surgery on the shoulder he dislocated at Wycombe last weekend.