Despite there being plenty of positives for Michael Brown during the summer so far, he was handed some bad news recently with developments in the injury status of Kjell Knops.
Kjell joined Vale last summer and was a regular in the side throughout the 2016/17 season and was a consistent performer.
The defender then suffered a serious injury against Rochdale back in March and the manager was hoping that a return would occur at some stage during 2017/18.
However, Brown now expects Knops to miss the entire campaign.
He said: "It's as bad as it gets for Kjell so we won't see him on the pitch this season. He has had a major setback so it's very unfortunate for the boy.
"He had an operation which would have seen him come back around February, but now it's much, much worse. He's still in hospital with a severe infection, he's had to have more surgery and it's horrendous for him."
Knops was one of many players brought into the club last summer, but he was the standout performer in the eyes of many.
Brown admires the 29-year-old's character and he is gutted to not have him available for selection.
He said: "Kjell did well last season for us and he is a brilliant lad first and foremost. He wants to join in, work hard and do well for this football club.
"Straight away he'd had his operation and he was wanting to work. The chances of a reoccurring infection were then very low, but they've had to go back in and operate again and it's a real setback for him."