Wigan Atheltic's recent South Korea signing Won Hee Cho is out for the rest of the season after tearing two calf muscles on international duty last week.
Midfielder Cho was initially kicked in the leg during South Korea's friendly against Iraq in Seoul on March 28, worsening the injury in the World Cup qualifier with North Korea four days later.
Wigan head physio Dave Galley said: "We scanned the injury as soon as Won Hee returned to us last week, and we can confirm he has a grade three tear of two of his calf muscles."
With the end of the season seven weeks away, and with such injuries requiring six to eight weeks to heal, it is extremely unlikely Cho will make his debut this season.
Cho, who signed for Wigan as a free agent last month after allowing his contract with Suwon Blue Wings to expire, said: "This is very frustrating for me.
"I was so desperate to show the manager and the fans what I can do. But I will now have to work my hardest to get fit."
Expressing his own disappointment, Bruce remarked: "It's unfortunate for the lad because he was so willing and has shown a terrific attitude.
"But our team are working on him and we will do everything we can to get him back as soon as we can."