Imperial Commander has been ruled out of this weekend's Betfair Chase at Haydock after suffering a setback.
The 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero has been sidelined by injury since pulling up in the Prestbury Park showpiece in March of last year, but trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies had been looking forward to seeing him return on Saturday for a race he won two years ago.
However, his comeback has now been delayed until the New Year.
Twiston-Davies said: “He's suffered a small fracture of a splint bone in a hind leg unfortunately.
“It's nothing dramatic, but it means he won't be in full work for around six weeks. We can still do swimming with him and things like that.
“It's disappointing but these things happen.
“We'll see how we get on but the obvious race for him when he comes back is the race at Cheltenham in January (Argento Chase)."