Boston United number two Paul Holden has suffered a heart attack.
As new manager Graham Drury prepared to take charge of his first match as Pilgrims boss, the Blue Square Bet North contest against Corby Town, he had to do so without his right-hand man.
Holden - a former academy boss at Crystal Palace and the ex-Director of Football for the Gibraltar FA - suffered a heart attack on Christmas Day.
He is due to leave hospital today but will not be involved with the Pilgrims for at least a month, club officials have confirmed.
Holden, often credited as the footballing brain in the partnership, has worked with Drury for five years.
Number three Dean West will still be active on the bench.