The young defender suffered an ankle injury in Wednesday’s win at Annan and the news is that he will need an operation.
If that is the case, then it is unlikely he will play again in the SFL 3 campaign.
The timing is lousy for Cole who had overcome earlier injury problems and forced his way into Ally McCoist’s plans with good performances in the Reserves.
He did well coming on as a substitute in the Scottish Cup tie against Elgin last month and was starting to stake a claim for the right back berth having played against Clyde on Boxing Day and then starting the Annan match.
McCoist said today: “It’s not great for Darren. He has a really bad ankle with some heavy swelling and unfortunately the immediate signs are that he will need an operation.
“I don’t want to pre-empt the situation but if it is an operation then we will do well to see him again this season.
“It’s a real shame because had been injured for a while and had just come back. I could see both physically and mentally that he has grown up.
“It has come at an horrendous time for him but hopefully he will handle it and be ready for pre-season if that is the case.”