Edinburgh's CIaran Brian hopes to return to the field with club in the Championship
The 22-year-old full-back hasn't featured for the Citizens since the 4-1 SPFL Trust Trophy defeat to Queen of the South in September due to a hip problem and will now go under the knife in February.
As he reflects on a disappointing maiden League One campaign on a personal level, the former St Johnstone youth player insists Alan Maybury's men's superb form has softened the blow.
"The scans revealed what we'd kind of expected but it still hits pretty hard when you get the news rubber-stamped - particularly because it's been such a good start to life in League One," Brian explained to the Evening News. "There really is no other option so I either have the operation or I won't be able to play and will be in constant pain. It can come and go, but because I am a coach as well, when I have been on my feet all day, I can feel it. It's simple things that can trigger it. I've never had any problems with it until this season, maybe it's something that has been building up and it's just been a matter of time. I've not played in almost three months now and I even tried non-contact stuff at training. But as soon as I stop it just came back again.
"The recovery period is going to be about four months so I'm hoping to be back for pre-season. The conversations I've had with the medical staff is now is the right time to get it done. I'm still only 22 so although I'm missing the rest of the season, hopefully in the long run that's me back and I can kick on from there.
"I've just got to take the hit now. But these things happen in football. You always think it's not going to happen to you. I've just got to work hard in my recovery. The operation isn't until February so I can keep working on stuff in the gym that I can still manage, albeit it is limited. I might even be able to enjoy an extra serving this Christmas which will be nice!"
Brian signed a new one-year-deal in June so is out of contract next summer. However, he is confident he can secure his future at Meadowbank despite being sidelined for the remainder of his current deal.
"I've had good chats with the gaffer so he's been very supportive," Brian said. "Obviously with my contract being up in the summer, it is hanging over me a wee bit but those conversations can wait until nearer the time.
"I'll be backing the boys for the rest of the season and that has been the case since I got injured. I have been up to Peterhead so it's one of those where you are still part of the club even though I'm not playing. I'll still be going to training during the week so I'll try and play a part as much as I can.
"We're one game from the half-season mark and we're sitting second so if we can end up challenging Dunfermline or in the play-offs then we had the play-off experience last year. It would be brilliant for me if I was gearing up to get fit for a crack at the Championship."
Edinburgh welcome Montrose to the Capital this weekend.