SCOTT McDonald's creativity in the final third was a major miss for Millwall at Bolton on Saturday, according to boss Steve Lomas.
McDonald broke down in training on Thursday and failed a fitness test ahead of the Lions' 3-1 defeat at the Reebok Stadium.
His replacement, Jermaine Easter, briefly hauled the visitors level with his second goal in as many appearances, but Lomas admitted McDonald was sorely missed.
"Jermaine came in, did well and scored his goal but you are always going to miss a quality player like Scott," he said. "He's got that bit of invention and maybe in that second half he might have been able to open something up.
"Bolton were sitting deep on their 18 yard line and Scotty's invention in and around the box might have made a different, but he wasn't playing so we just had to get on with it.
"He's just tweaked his hamstring but we don't think it's a serious one – we hope not."
The only positive on a miserable afternoon up north was the return of three injured players.
Lomas said: "We are getting a few back – Lee Martin, Richard Chaplow and Mark Beevers – which is a positive because it gives us more bodies to work with.
"We were thinking about starting Beevers but we felt the two boys at centre back had done well in the last three games and we wanted to make sure that Mark was fully over his injury.
"We did not want him to break down with the international break coming up, so it was a judgement call."