David Ripley fears Adam Rossington and Ben Sanderson will both miss the rest of the season after the pair picked up injuries in Northants' defeat at Nottinghamshire.
Rossington sustained a broken thumb and Sanderson a hamstring problem as injury was added to insult for the County at Trent Bridge.
Ripley's men were beaten by 163 runs by the current Specsavers County Championship Division Two leaders.
And the misery was made worse by the fact Northants left Trent Bridge with minus two points having endured a deduction for a slow over rate.
It was a hugely disappointing four days for the County, whose hopes of promotion have taken a big hit.
“I thought this would be a good benchmark for us because they are the best team in the league and they have an extremely strong batting line-up, so it was a good test but obviously we came up short," Ripley said.
"I think the margin of defeat is the biggest disappointment because we were well beaten.
"I think Riki Wessels (who hit 69 in Nottinghamshire's first innings and 116 in the second) was the big difference, with his two individual contributions. Without that it might have been tighter, but the disappointment is over our first innings batting.
"We challenged our batters to put their hands up and put some runs on the board and they haven’t done that.
“On the injury front, Adam Rossington has a broken thumb but Alex Wakely’s x-ray has come back clear, so hopefully he’ll be okay for the next game (Northants host Sussex from Tuesday).
"Ben Sanderson’s hamstring injury means he will be out. He’s having a scan tomorrow but you kind of fear the worst, so two of them might be out for the rest of the season.
"We’ll cling to some hope that they might be back but it looks unlikely.”
Northants had managed to bowl Notts out for 213 in the first innings, with Muhammad Azharullah (5-63) and Richard Gleeson (4-38) impressing.
But Notts fought back with the ball, dismissing the County for 141 as only Josh Cobb (46 not out) provided any real resistance.
Wessels' superb 116 from just 88 balls put the home side in total control as they declared on 344 for nine.
And Northants, without Rossington due to his thumb injury, were then dismissed for 253.
The agony was exacerbated by the points deduction for a slow over rate, meaning Northants have now lost a total of five points this season.
And Ripley said: “That’s not good.
"We’ve just spoken about it as a group. We talk about it far too much and we need some actions.
"That’s going to hit us because we are going to lose points from this game and go back with minus points.
"In the past we’ve not been promoted out of this division by just one point, so every point is vital and we’ve just lobbed four or five away.”