Blackburn Rovers have suffered a huge setback with the news that Steven Reid will miss the rest of the season.
Rovers manager Paul Ince confirmed the Republic of Ireland international will need surgery on his knee and is expected to be out for up to seven months.
“He trained this week, looked fine, looked sharp, I was playing him on Saturday against Bolton,” said Ince, before revealing the club doctor had decided the treatment was not working and surgery would be required.
“That’s a massive blow to us because he is a fantastic player, a great pro, he can play in numerous positions on the park and he just loves being at Blackburn, he loves training,” he added.
“To lose him is a massive, massive blow – not just for the lad, because he is absolutely devastated – but also for the club.”
It is the latest blow for the injury-plagued midfielder, 27, who also missed the 2006-07 season with knee and back injuries.
Ince added: “This problem has come up again, so it is a case of really just getting it done and then focusing on next season.
“It won’t be easy for him but it is important that we rally around him, make him still feel he is part of the team, which he certainly is and go from there.”