Norway's Niklas Dyrhaug will miss the start of the new International Ski Federation Cross-Country World Cup season due to a back injury.
The 30-year-old will not participate in a domestic meeting in Beitostolen between November 17 and 19 later this week.
Just as importantly, he will also miss the beginning of the new FIS World Cup season by not being present at the opener in Kuusamo, Finland, at the end of November.
His possible return has been pencilled in for the beginning of December in Lillehammer, Norway.
There are further events in Davos, Switzerland, Toblach, Italy and in Lenzerheide, Switzerland before the turn of the year before the series closes in March 2018, giving the Norwegian ample opportunity to make up lost ground.
"Of course it is very boring and disappointing to miss the first weekends with competitions," he said.
"The form has been very good this fall and I have been looking forward to getting started, but now I have to look forward to coming back as quickly as possible."
Dyrhaug finished eighth in the 2016-2017 World Cup standings which were won by compatriot Martin Johnsrud Sundby.
The World Championship bronze medalist in the 15 kilometre classic at Lahti, Finland, earlier this year, broke the news of his injury on his Instagram account.
He stated that he had a lower back injury.
"Niklas has damaged a disc in his lower back that needs time to heal," said Norway team doctor Petter Olberg.
Tor Arne Hetland, Norway's team coach, added: "It's demanding when the back is crouching, but Niklas is now training alternatively and aims to be back skiing in the World Cup [in] Lillehammer the first weekend of December."